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What Dramatic Effect Does Shakespeare Aim For In Act II, Scene II and How Does He Achieve It?

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16.5.00 C.Waddy What Dramatic Effect Does Shakespeare Aim For In Act II, Scene II and How Does He Achieve It? Macbeth was written in the sixteenth century by Shakespeare. It was one of many plays he wrote in this period and was classed as a 'Tragedy'. The audience it was intended for ranged from normal peasants to those in the upper classes or even royalty. In the time Macbeth was written the population of Britain were very superstitious, this allowed Shakespeare to include supernatural elements and hints of witchcraft (the witches on the heath). People at the time also believed in what was known as the 'Divine Right Of Kings'. This meant that they believed each monarch was chosen by God and so they were divinely appointed. This belief has great influence over the play and increases the tension and intensity of the storyline, the killing of King Duncan. Act II Scene II revolves around the main incident of the killing of King Duncan. ...read more.


(line 23), "When?" (line 23), "As I descended?" (line 25) and "Hark!" (line 27). Throughout the Scene references are made to 'Blood', 'Death', 'Murder' and 'Sleep'. These allow Shakespeare to show exactly the significance of what each of the characters has done, through the language that they use. 'Sleep' was very important to people in this time that Macbeth was written. They believed that people who could not sleep were evil and had something on their conscience, an example of this is "Sleep no more!, Macbeth does murder sleep" (line 35). In the conversations between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in the time shortly after they have killed King Duncan, many references are made in their speech to 'Murder' and 'Blood'. This illustrates how much of an effect their evil deed has had upon them, leaving them in a frightened and guilty state.. This use of violence related language is very effective for Shakespeare to focus the play upon its main incident, the killing of King Duncan. ...read more.


The appearance of the witches in the play as a whole, although not in Act II, Scene II adds tension because of the supernatural elements they introduce to the scene. They may also have been quite frightening to those who viewed the play at the time because they the believed in witchcraft. The witches give Macbeth the idea of killing King Duncan because they put him under the impression he cannot be killed. Possibly if he had never believed this he would not have taken the actions that he did. With Macbeth being involved with the witches, who are viewed as an evil force, its makes him come across as evil, because of his connection with them. Through the entire scene the language used by Shakespeare build upon the feelings of each of the characters and their strong feeling of guilt. Shakespeare effectively shows how each of the characters are affected and traumatized by the killing of Duncan through the many dramatic effects he uses. Overall, the scene is very effective in showing the tension and importance of the killing of King Duncan. ...read more.

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