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Macbeth "How does mood and atmosphere create tension in act 2 scene 2 and how does this create dramatic interest for the reader

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Macbeth Coursework Explore how mood and atmosphere creates tension in Act 2 scene 2 and how this creates dramatic interest for the audience. In this essay I will be looking at how Shakespeare uses the mood and atmosphere to create tension in Act 2 scene 2 of his play Macbeth and how this creates dramatic interest for the audience. In Act 2 sc 2 Lady Macbeth has just "drugged the possets" of the grooms sleeping outside King Duncan's chamber and she waits for Macbeth to come back from having committed the murder. Macbeth feels guilty after the murder and his wife tries to calm him but unlike her husband, she is confident that they won't get caught. The whole of Act 1 scene 3 is building up towards this scene because both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are ambitious. Lady Macbeth is single minded in persuading Macbeth to kill King Duncan, so that he will become the king. At first Macbeth did not agree to the murder but the witches tempted him by one of the prophesies they made for him which was that "Macbeth shalt be the king hereafter" which made Macbeth ambitious to become the King and Lady Macbeth gives him support to murder Duncan. She persuades Macbeth by telling him to "look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under't" and she also calls him a coward which gives him the courage to attempt the murder. ...read more.


The mention of an owl may add tension because she may have considered the owl to be a bad omen. Although Lady Macbeth seems to do the most terrible deeds, now she explains that she could not carry out the murder herself because Duncan resembled her father as he slept. This shows Lady Macbeth's conscience and feeling of guilt. This also creates dramatic interest for the audience because it makes them feel that Lady Macbeth seems to realize the wrongness of the murder. The audience would notice straight away that Macbeth is holding two "blood stained daggers," which would add to the tension because it will confirm to the audience that King Duncan has been murdered. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have a very fast conversation made up of short sentences. This adds to the tension because they don't want to risk being caught with the blood stained daggers or else they will be suspected of the murder. Macbeth is worried because he thinks that he won't be able to wash the blood from his hands even if he uses all "great Neptune's ocean." This shows that he is terrified. Unlike Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is not so afraid, this can be seen when she says "A little water clears us of this deed" which means she is confident to gain success in her evil plot against King Duncan. ...read more.


Lady Macbeth tells her husband to wash the "filthy witness" from his hands and she also says that "My hands are of your colour, but I am shame to wear a heart so white" which suggests she is not afraid. As the knocking at the castle's gate continues it further disturbs his state of mind so his wife advices that he pulls himself together and that they retire to bed, so as not to be seen awake when the murder is discovered. It seems that Macbeth is terrified and wasn't fully prepared for the murder in the last sentence of the Act 2 scene 2 when he says "wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst!" which suggests that he is feeling guilty. In conclusion I think that Shakespeare has been successful in creating tension for the audience in Act 2 sc 2 in "Macbeth" by showing that Macbeth brutally murders the unguarded King with the help of his wife. The witches played a major role in his assassination because they made Macbeth ambitious in Act 1 sc 3 by prophesying that "Macbeth shalt be the king hereafter" as a result he kills Duncan in Act 2 sc 2.In my opinion the tensest part of Act 2 sc 2 was when Macbeth was holding two "blood stained daggers" because blood symbolises death so therefore the blood stains would confirm to the audience that Duncan is dead. ...read more.

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