In Act 2 Scene 2, Shakespeare uses tension and dramatic interest to
illustrate how Macbeth, with Lady Macbeth influencing him to do so,
commits the murder of King Duncan, and the after effects.
Shakespeare's language helps create this theatrical picture in the
previous scene with Macbeth's soliloquy about the dark in the "black
night," and the evil he associates with it prepares the audience for
the murder scene. In this scene, the audience know what Macbeth is
doing is wrong and that he will suffer terrible consequences, but
there is something inside of everyone that either propels him on out
of fascination or wills him to stop. Shakespeare helps create this
feeling with ...view middle of the document...
previous scene Banquo and Fleance often express how dark it is by
saying that "the candles are out" and how "the moon is down"; this
helps illustrate the picture of a bare night. By stating this, the
picture comes across as an evil night where the unknown is lurking.
Macbeth is fearful of this and knows what he will have to do that
night. Shakespeare creates an image of not being able to see, not
being able to know what is happening around them. This helps with the
following scene as it fits in with the evil surrounding of the murder
going on. When Lady Macbeth is on stage at the beginning of this, it
places the tension of being caught and not knowing what is going on
around her, with darkness surrounding.
When Macbeth enters after just carrying out the murder, Lady Macbeth
is worried about his state as he is covered in blood. This is tense as
someone might walk in and see Macbeth covered in blood and would
suspect something. The state that Macbeth is in draws tension through
the audience because he is so disturbed that he might give them away.
It may change their views from seeing a brave man, a war hero, to
seeing a fanatical man in a daydream. It gives a different perspective
on the views of Macbeth. This is effective in the drama of the play
since Macbeth's character is playing the reverse of himself.
Further on in the scene, Lady Macbeth notices that Macbeth has still
got the daggers on him and tries to take them back: "give me the
daggers" (line 56). When Lady Macbeth must put the daggers back, she
has to leave Macbeth while he is in such a poor state. This is tense
as and someone might catch her returning them or see Macbeth. When she
is doing this she can't warn Macbeth if anyone is coming because he is
in such a deep trance. If someone does come they would see Macbeth
dripping in blood. This is very tense as if this does happen, Macbeth
and Lady Macbeth will be caught and makes us wonder what will happen
When Lady Macbeth goes to put the daggers back, there is a knock on
the door. This is the tensest moment in the scene as Macbeth is in a
deep fantasy and therefore not moving in response to the knock. The
audience know that someone is outside the door and that if Macbeth
doesn't move he will be caught dripping in blood. This is unexpected
and a noise in the quiet. This is effective in the drama of the play
as it can be done in different ways.
In Lady Macbeth's first speech, she tells us about how she drugged the
guards and how "that which have made them drunk, hath made me bold."
This is of dramatic interest because she needs to be made bold and is
not naturally bold. Before she acted very fearlessly in front of
Macbeth, yet on the inside she says that she isn't, and that drink has
to make her brave. This is shown clearly when there is an owl shriek
as she is very shocked at first "Hark, peace!" When Macbeth says,