William Shakespeare's Macbeth

analytical Essay
1060 words
1060 words

William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Consider the scenes in which Duncan is murdered Act 2 scene 1 and 2.

How do the language, characters and imagery create an atmosphere of

fear and tension?

In August 1606 the play, "Macbeth" was performed for King James 1st of

England. It is a dramatic, suspense filled murder tale written by one

of the best writers of the 17th century, William Shakespeare. It is an

old story that Shakespeare has twisted to involve evil, witchcraft and

the supernatural, which were very popular at the time. The play begins

with the King's army engaged in battle against Norway; a battle for

which Macbeth and his best friend Banqo are commended and praised by

the king for their bravery in the great victory. However, on their way

from the battleground the two men encounter three witches - "the weird

sisters" - whose prophecy for Macbeth was not only that he would

become thane of Cawdor, but also King. They then predicted that

Banqo's children would also become Kings. These prophesies play on

Macbeth's mind and when he is named thane of Cawdor he begins to think

of the "golden round".

When his wife lady Macbeth hears of the news, she instantly forms a

plan in her mind. When further news arrives that king Duncan is on his

way to Macbeth's castle for a banquet, she sees an opportunity and her

plan becomes a clear possibility.

She informs her husband of her plan, which is to kill Duncan as her

sleeps after the banquet. It is obvious Macbeth is not sure as he

avoids the subject and tells his wife "we will speak further",

presumably to give himself more time to think. Macbeth is not an evil

man and would not have formulated and carried out this plan if it had

not been for his wife. She encourages him, gives him support and goads

him into doing these things Underneath her exterior, however, Lady

Macbeth's conscience is getting to her, as we see later in the play

when she kills herself.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how banqo draws his sword - a sign he draws.
  • Narrates how the man is wrong as he is in the castle of a friend surrounded by people.
  • Analyzes how they are playing on the mind of the man.
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