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What dramatic effect does Shakespeare aim for in act 2 scene 2 and how does he achieve it?

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Introduction

What Dramatic Effect Does Shakespeare Aim For In Act 2 Scene 2 And How Does He Achieve It? 'Macbeth' was written around 1606 for King James. It begins with Macbeth, a valiant warrior, meeting with three witches who in turn, give a prophesy that he will become 'Thane of Cawdor' and then King of Scotland. "All hail Macbeth, hail to thee, Thane Of Cawdor" "All hail Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter". He sends a letter to his wife, telling her about this meeting and then returns home, after being made Thane Of Cawdor by King Duncan, the current King of Scotland. On hearing this news, Lady Macbeth begins to make plans for the death of King Duncan who is coming to stay at Macbeth's castle. She persuades Macbeth to kill the king in cold blood in order to fulfil the prophesy. In Act 2 Scene 2, the murder of the king takes place. This is the climax of the play and the rest of the plot centres around this scene. ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare bases 'Macbeth' around the common belief at that time, that there is a natural hierarchy, of which the King is paramount. They believed that if the King were removed from this position of power, then chaos would ensue. This is demonstrated in the language of the characters and the imagery Shakespeare creates after King Duncan has been killed. "And Duncan's horses, a thing most strange and certain. Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race, Turn'd wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out" This shows that once the King was gone, all of nature would be affected, like Duncan's horses. In 'Macbeth', the main female character is Lady Macbeth and although she is a woman, she has a very powerful influence over Macbeth. It was unusual for a female character to be portrayed in this way because women were meant to be under their husband's rule. A very strict social order was applied to everyday family life, and as a result, the man commanded obedience from his spouse. ...read more.

Conclusion

Act 2 Scene 2 is the climax of the whole play. Here, Shakespeare brings into play the build up of tension that has occurred in the previous two scenes. The tension of the scene is shown in the character's speech and their reactions to the environment around them. Lady Macbeth is very nervous and reacts to every noise around her. "Hark, Peace! It was the owl that shriek'd, the fatal bellman" When Macbeth re-enters, he and Lady Macbeth share their lines to create urgency and more tension. "Did you not speak? When? Now. As I descended? Ay." Act 2 Scene 3 gives the audience relief from all tension in the previous scenes. The mood of the play changes suddenly, and the audience has been as tense as Lady Macbeth and Macbeth. In Shakespearian times, the audience would have been more appreciative of the Porter's jokes but it gives a short pause from the chaos that will follow. Shakespeare also allows the characters to make comparisions with previous scenes. Tension mounts in Act 2 Scene 3 as Macduff comes closer to discovering the body of King Duncan. Lennox comments on the night and weather ...read more.

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