• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How Does Shakespeare use language to create atmosphere in Act 2 Scene 1 and Act 2 Scene 2 of 'Macbeth'?

Extracts from this document...


How Does Shakespeare use language to create atmosphere in Act 2 Scene 1 and Act 2 Scene 2 of 'Macbeth'? The two scenes, one and two are based around the murder of King Duncan. The plot, orchestrated by the three witches, to make Macbeth and Lady Macbeth kill the king. The Three Witches did this to create chaos and confusion and they help persuade Macbeth to fulfill his ambitious intentions through their prophesies. In Act 2 Shakespeare uses language to create a feeling of suspicion and fear. This sets the scene and creates an atmosphere of foreboding and impending doom, which continues throughout the play. Act 2 is set at Macbeths Castle where Duncan is graciously received by the "honoured hostess" Lady Macbeth. The scene is set at night, although the play would be performed during the daytime through suspension of disbelief. Words such as "night", "moon", "candles" and "twelve", denote this. The audience senses an evil atmosphere through the narrative, "The moon is down" and " their candles are all out" which illustrates a feeling of darkness and malice. In Act 2 scene1, Banquo's anxiety is immediately apparent. ...read more.


The dagger he envisages is symbolic as it reflects the way in which Duncans murder is performed. Shakespeare uses rhetorical questions in Macbeth's soliloquy implying that Macbeth is confused and almost powerless to make the decision to murder Duncan. He uses blood imagery such as, "dudgeon gouts of blood" and "bloody business" to show how guilty Macbeth is feeling about murdering the King. At the end of the scene the rhyming couplet, "Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell that summons thee to heaven, or to hell" is used to show that Macbeth has overcome his hesitation and has made the decision to kill Duncan. In Act 2 scene 2, when Lady Macbeth is waiting anxiously for Macbeth to return from the murder scene, her persuasion and determination is forgotten and she becomes nervous and tense. Shakespeare includes small sounds, which seem to be exaggerated creating an exciting and extremely tense scene. Vocabulary such as "It was the owl that shrieked", "I heard the owl scream, and the crickets cry" and "I heard a voice cry" display the nervous and tense atmosphere after the murder. ...read more.


Imagery associated with blood is also used; the blood on Macbeth's hands is symbolic as it is also on his conscience and there is no turning back. Shakespeare uses language and imagery to suggest that Macbeths guilt takes control of his actions and he is unable to hide his real thought, whereas Lady Macbeth is portrayed as weak and nervous until Macbeth has done the deed. After he has committed the murder she becomes calm and organised, taking control of the situation. In Act 2, scene 1 and 2, Shakespeare uses many forms of language to create an atmosphere. He uses imagery related to sleep, blood, light, dark and guilt. These images create a tense and anxious atmosphere leading up to the murder of King Duncan. Shakespeare also uses rhyming couplets and alliteration to keep the audience interested in the play. It also creates an impression on their response to the events in the performance. In conclusion Shakespeare uses these conventions to suspend the readers disbelief, creating a surreal atmosphere throughout the play. His use of language and imagery helps to inspire and captivate the audience in constructing the mise en scene. Chris Brown ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. How does Shakespeare create dramatic tension in these scenes?

    her husband's usual valiant character and strength, also his slaughter on the battlefield, as seen by the audience in Act1 Scene 1, where he cut his enemies in two with his sword, Now, he is in an incredible state over one murder.

  2. A comparison of the Dagger scene, Act 2, Scene 1, from 'Macbeth' as presented ...

    Macbeth seems frightened at first and there is stark lighting from his right hand side. A shadow is cast on Macbeth's face and it moves like a ghost. There are close ups of Macbeth, and this makes the soliloquy convincing.

  1. Look at Act 1, Scene 5, Act 1, Scene 7, Act 2, Scene 2, ...

    Lady Macbeth assures him that nobody will dare raise any questions because he and she will 'make our griefs and clamour roar upon his death'. With that, Macbeth's courage is up again. Lady Macbeth's speech and persuasive attitude, it shows strong will and ambition for him to become king.

  2. Macbeth - How does Shakespeare create tension in Act 2, scenes 1 and 2?

    The imaginary sword that Macbeth sees in his hallucination contrasts with the real one he eventually pulls out. In Polanski's film version of Macbeth, use is made of a super imposed dagger. In my opinion this ploy spoils the soliloquy and in fact has the opposite effect to the desired

  1. Discuss What Shakespeare Conveys About Macbeth and Lady Macbeths Relationship in Act 1, Act ...

    as only "a nobleman" by Duncan at the beginning of the play. In his soliloquy Macbeth contemplates the practicalities of the deed and understands that as Duncan's "subject", "kinsman", and more importantly, his "host", he has no moral ground for murder.

  2. Macbeth. How Does Shakespeare create tension in Act 2 Scene 1? and Act ...

    Whilst Banquo and Macbeth are talking you recognise that the structure of the conversation is very stilted, distracted and suspicious. The structure of the dialogue uses enjambment this speeds up the convasation and suggests that both characters are tense and trying to create small talk.

  1. How does Shakespeare use language and dramatic devices to highlight the state of mind ...

    In this statement, Lady Macbeth questions if Macbeth regarded his decision to kill the king as a drunken mistake, while also referring to the hope which she and her husband harboured of becoming rulers. Using this strength of argument, she is able to override her husband's earlier decision and convince him to kill Duncan.

  2. Shakespeare's Macbeth - Act 2 Scene 2.

    Everything else will be similar to Shakespeare's version with both traditional costume and language used. Lady Macbeth's dress will be pale coloured and will make her look, as most women were thought to be, innocent and powerless. This will follow the idea that she appears an innocent wife to Macbeth, but really is a powerful and manipulative character.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work