Dramatic Effects in Act II, Scene II of ‘Macbeth’

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‘Macbeth’ is set in medieval Scotland, in a wild and exposed area of Scotland, sparsely decorated with heather and spotted with leafless trees, twisted by the harsh elements. Unlike many of Shakespeare’s plays, ‘Macbeth’ has no subplots, perhaps so as not to divert the audience’s attention from the dramatic main plot. ‘Macbeth’ is a thrilling tale of murder, treason, and witchcraft, and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, which I’m certain was Shakespeare’s intention. Particularly in Act 2, Scene 2, the scene of King Duncan’s murder. This is the scene I will be focusing on; I will look at the writing styles used by Shakespeare and their effect; the feelings and connotations associated with the characters personalities, including the roles of males and females from Shakespeare’s time; the use of certain vocabulary and techniques producing certain effects; and how the setting of the scene and the dialogue of the characters effects how the audience feels. Act 1, Scenes 1 and 3 The opening scene of Macbeth is very captivating, instantly getting the attention of the audience, which was most likely Shakespeare’s intent. We see three witches, who call themselves ‘The Weird Sisters’ chanting nonsensical predictions of the future while a fierce thunderstorm blows around them: “Fair is foul and foul is fair, hover through the fog and the filthy air.” A modern audience would not understand the fear and tension this scene creates, we expelled witches and things of that nature as silly superstition long ago. However to a Shakespearean audience witches were very real and very terrifying. Witches were seen as evil, manipulative demons. Shakespeare made an excellent choice to have this as the first scene, against the back drop ... ... middle of paper ... ...ve seen Lady Macbeth as a very unattractive, frightening woman, and perhaps even thought her to be a witch, particularly in Act 1 Scene 5, when she is calling to unseen ‘sprits’. She proclaims “Come, you spirits, unsex me here. Come to my woman’s breasts and take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers.” This would be seen as very witchlike activity, and was probably used by Shakespeare to invoke hatred for Lady Macbeth. Like all of Shakespeare’s plays, every line is filled with imagery and symbology. Although Macbeth has never been one of my favourite plays, I have enjoyed studying Shakespeare’s imaginative verse that could as easily be poetry as it is a script. Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ is a very thought provoking play, to the modern and original audience, which brings up controversial issues, and makes the reader confront his own world in a different light.
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