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'Macbeth' English CourseworkAct II Scene 2 1. The scene opens with Lady Macbeth speaking in soliloquy; as a director I would tell the actress to look

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Introduction

'Macbeth' English Coursework Act II Scene 2 1. The scene opens with Lady Macbeth speaking in soliloquy; as a director I would tell the actress to look agitated, maybe wringing her hands and pacing the stage, quite near the back of the stage so it looks as if she is almost trying to hide. In the first soliloquy she seems less powerful compared to when she is with Macbeth. Lady Macbeth begins to imagine noises that represent bad omens, for example, 'the owl shriek'd'. She probably didn't hear that noise but an owl shrieking is a symbol of evil and she knows she is doing wrong. She then begins to go over the plans as if she is reassuring herself of what to do and wondering what is going on and how the plan is doing. Lady Macbeth obviously wasn't that confident because she even says that she needed an alcoholic drink to calm her and make her brave again. Then when Macbeth enters, still in soliloquy, she panics that Macbeth hasn't committed the murder, that they woke up and caught him and she expresses her doubts very obviously as shown in this quotation, 'I am afraid' this shows how she lacks confidence and proves that she wasn't 'bold'. Then when Macbeth and Lady Macbeth begin to talk to each other they are both very nervous and jumpy but slowly Lady Macbeth begins to regain control again and she can then comfort and sooth Macbeth who is very shocked and seems almost hysterical. ...read more.

Middle

He doesn't seem to be able to focus on one thing at a time but the two dominant things he talks about is that he won't be able to get spiritual forgiveness and he won't be able to sleep. He then starts to talk about two lodgers praying and the fact that when they said 'Amen' he couldn't because he had gone against God and broken the Divine Right of Kings. The Divine Right of Kings is an ancient belief system that was the eldest son of the king or queen would become the next ruler of the country. Macbeth had killed the king and taken his place so broken this spiritual belief. So Macbeth knows that he has disobeyed God and cannot get forgiveness. This is shown in lines 37-44. In these lines a very strong metaphor is used to show just how guilty he feels. The metaphor is: 'Hangman's hands'. This is comparing his hand to those of someone who kills frequently so this means that Macbeth's guilt is so strong that it feels as though he has killed more than one person. The second dominant topic is that Macbeth sleep has the power to heal and nurture people who are troubled and weary but he has lost the right to sleep and will never sleep again. Lines 47-52 use a lot of good personification which further shows the guilt that Macbeth is feeling. ...read more.

Conclusion

Lady Macbeth also refers to witchcraft when she hears bad omens like the 'owls' scream' so witchcraft and darkness is a main concern and theme of this particular scene. The theme of deception is carried on throughout this scene; at a more physical level than the deception of the witches with their contradicting language. In this scene, Act II Scene 2, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are putting the blame of the murder on the King's guards and appearing to be unaware of the situation. Bloodshed and guilt is another key issue especially with phrases like 'Hangman's hands' and they very graphic visual image in lines 76-79. This theme is referred to throughout the rest of the play and eventually until Lady Macbeth's death. The guilt is so strong that it causes her to take her own life and the guilt rules Macbeth into decisions and causes a lack of sleep which is another key theme. His lack of sleep is because he has ruined his own equilibrium. Macbeth knows that he has disrupted the Divine Right of Kings so therefore upset God. So Macbeth finds that he is unable to pray and has lost the right to sleep which is 'nature's healer' which is a theme which continues right from the murder to the end of the play. He becomes mentally disturbed. The final topic in this scene is the power shifting in the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. They both rely on each other to be strong. ?? ?? ?? ?? Aimee Charnock ...read more.

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