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English Comentary on Macbeth Essay

How does Shakespeare create tension in scene two using language, themes and stage directions?

In act two scenes two Shakespeare creates tension with Language, themes and stage direction. As the plot unravels both the audience and Macbeth and Lady Macbeth experience suspense. He can portray this suspense through language; he uses one syllable words and imperative verbs. Tension is very important in act two scene two because it portrays the full effect the murder has on Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Shakespeare also uses Sounds and actions to amplify the suspense creating more tension.

At the start of act two scene two Lady Macbeth uses lots of words with one syllable for example; “That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold” that’s is Lady Macbeth’s first line and all of those words are one syllable words and so on for the next two lines. Using these words it creates fear. In this section she also says ‘What hath quenched them hath given me fire.’ This quote gives us a different view on Lady Macbeth because before this Lady Macbeth was strong and was willing to kill Duncan for power, but this quote humanizes Lady Macbeth. This creates tension because we realize as a reader that Lady Macbeth is fearful and not confident for what is about to happen.

Once Macbeth enters the room his first line is “I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?” this quote is the falling action because Macbeth has finally killed king Duncan. Fear is seen in Macbeth because he is worried if anyone heard him. Euphemism is used, again to alleviate the impact. Lady Macbeth then responds with “I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.” At this point in time animals were seen as bad omens. So we fear that Lady Macbeth and Macbeth will be boundless.

Shakespeare also uses stage directions to amplify the whole scene for example after Macbeth killed Duncan he looks at his hand and how they are covered in blood. This makes Macbeth look weak and he says it is a “foolish sight” as if what he had done was a mistake. Throughout the scene Lady Macbeth leaves the room to fix Macbeth’s mistake and there is a knocking within and then lady Macbeth enters. This is a very important part of the play because it is where Macbeth and Lady Macbeth ar joined as one. “My hands are of your colour” this quote emphasises their relationship. And again there is a knocking within and another and another. And finally on the last knock Macbeth says “Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst! “


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