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What Dramatic Effect Does Shakespeare Aim For In Act 2, Scene 2?

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Introduction

Name: Heather Birtwistle Candidate Number: 6200 GCSE English Coursework "Macbeth" What dramatic effect does Shakespeare aim for in Act 2, Scene 2? How does he achieve it? How do the events in this scene relate to other sections of the play? Shakespeare is history's most famous playwright and his works are known through out the world. His popularity has continued due to his capability to write about universal themes, which intrigue and entice a modern audience into cinemas and theatres despite the age of his plays. Murder, comedy, love, tragedy and the supernatural all invite people to watch his plays, as there is something for everyone. This idea of writing and making films, stories and plays which appeal to such a large audience, is a criteria that film directors and authors still try to fill. Shakespeare has managed to combine each of these factors into one of his greatest piece of work, 'Macbeth'. This is one of the four great tragedies ('King Lear', 'Hamlet', 'Macbeth' and 'Othello') written by Shakespeare. Not only is it one of the four tragedies, but is also one of the most well of his plays. In order for Shakespeare to be able to write a play, he had to be careful to write about topics relevant to his audience. The topics that were relevant in Shakespeare's time are still relevant today. This is what gives Shakespeare's plays the power that they hold. At the time of Shakespeare, King James I was the ruler of England who often went to watch the plays. In the plays, it was very important for the audience to be entertained because if they were not, the audience would show their disapproval by talking and shouting over the actors. At this point in history, there was a wide spread belief in the 'Divine Right of Kings'. This was the belief that the king was a man who was appointed by God, which was why there was so much respect shown to those who were part of the Royal Family. ...read more.

Middle

"...Unsex me here And fill me from the crown to the toe topfull Of direst cruelty..." (Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 39-41) Lady Macbeth then fears that Macbeth could not go through with the murder and had returned without any chance of becoming king. The fears of Lady Macbeth are shown from the moment that she finds out about the predictions given by the three weird sisters. At first, the fear was that Macbeth was too kind hearted to go through with the murder. "Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be What thou art promised; yet do I fear thy nature, It is too full o'th'milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way." (Act 1, Scene 5) At first Macbeth does not refuse to take any action towards taking the 'fastest root' to becoming king but later, when he refuses, Lady Macbeth uses the power that she gained from the evil spirits, to force Macbeth into going through with the plans. The fear of Macbeth's kindness is represented in Act 2, Scene 2 when the first thing that Lady Macbeth says is doubtful to the success of Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is very concerned that Macbeth's attempt to kill Duncan could not be completed because they were on the verge of discovery. "Alack, I am afraid they have awaked, And 'tis not done; th'attempt and not the deed..." (Act 2, Scene 2, Lines 9-10) There is obviously a lack of confidence in Macbeth by his wife. Despite this, Lady Macbeth admits that she couldn't have done it herself because of the likeness of Duncan to her Father. This could have just been cause by the fact that he was a good king and that he was kind to the family and towards Lady Macbeth. Macbeth then tells Lady Macbeth that he had 'done the deed' and asks if Lady Macbeth had heard a noise. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Act 2, Scene1, Lines 4-5) This shows how even the before the murder has taken place, there is a dark atmosphere with many dark shadows. The idea of there being no stars links in with Act 1, Scene 4 when Macbeth appeals to the spirits to make the skies dark so that the murder of Duncan can take place in complete secrecy. "Stars hide your fires, Let not light see my black and deep desires," (Act 1, Scene 4) Macbeth's 'black and deep desires' are also echoed in the idea of there being no light and the link with darkness and evil. Shortly before the murder of Duncan has been discovered, Lennox says how during the night, there were sounds of screams and strange, terrible events occurring which the audience is led to believe occurred during the time when Macbeth killed Duncan. "Lamentings heard i'th'air, strange screams of death And prophesying with accents terrible Of dire combustion and confused events, New hatched to th'woeful time." (Act 2, Scene 3, Lines 48-51) These unnatural occurrences happen because of the belief of the Elizabethan audience that the king is chosen by God. The death of the king goes against the natural running order of things breaking the status quo is destroyed. Shakespeare's use of dramatic effect is obviously very cleverly planned out so that links can be made between scenes as well as it having the capability to grasp your attention. He manages to use many dramatic conventions that are still used in modern plays of today such as soliloquies by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth of the thoughts in their heads. A well as combining a number of different effects, there is also a use of deception, making the audience believe that they saw the death of Duncan. These melt together to form a piece of drama that is very unique and one that not only entertains the audience of Shakespeare's day without offending the king, but also one that can still entertain today. -1- ...read more.

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