How Shakespeare Creates Tension & Suspense in Act 2 Scene 2

Topics: Macbeth, Three Witches, Performance Pages: 2 (808 words) Published: July 1, 2012
How Shakespeare creates tension and suspense in Act 2 Scene 1 Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's most dramatic tragedies which made it necessary for Shakespeare to create tension and suspense throughout the play. The play was written during the reign of King James 1st, and because of this the themes of the play have a striking resemblance to the period. Common beliefs in the 1600s are upheld throughout, such as witchcraft; King James felt threatened by ‘witches’ and this resulted in unmerciful killing of many women. This play consistently features murder, influenced by four women: Macbeth’s own wife, Lady Macbeth, and three witches who will tell prophecies that eventually turn both Macbeths mad. Act 2 Scene 2 is one of the most compelling parts of the play, and as the plot is unveiled bit by bit Shakespeare increases his use of techniques to create that perfectly tense atmosphere. Tension is very important in this scene as it shows how the murder takes its full effect on Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The second scene of Act 2 starts as Lady Macbeth enters the room and announces, in a monologue, that the drink that has made the servants 'drunk' and her 'bold’. The fact that she announces this in such a way, that she needs to handicap other people to make herself feel powerful instantly makes her seem more vulnerable to us as the audience, and perhaps not quite in control as previously assumed. This creates tension as we start to realise that the one person who has been utterly confident throughout is starting to crumble at the edges; even she does not know what will happen next. Shakespeare uses short monosyllabic words in Lady Macbeth's monologue such as 'Hark! Peace!' Using these techniques recreate the fear that she is feeling to the audience, as they are exclamatory words. Lady Macbeth refuses to address the deed that has just been performed, referring to Duncan’s murder only as ‘it’. This portrays fear and uncertainty as she herself is shying away and refusing to...
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