Use of Tension in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

Use of Tension in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

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Shakespeare´s play 'Macbeth' is set in the heart of Scotland. The king
at the time is king Duncun, a noble and honest king. He has two sons
and many Thanes and noble men, one being Macbeth. Macbeth has fought
his way up the ranks of the army to become one of Duncun´s most
trusted Lords, but an encounter with three witches puts wickedness
into the heart of an otherwise noble and loyal man.

In act 1, scene 1, a scene of three witches confronts us. This alone
would have created mystery and fright to the audience, setting the
scene of the play to come. 'Macbeth' was written in a period when
there was a high interest in witchcraft and the supernatural. People
were confused and scared by the supernatural, so the sight of three
witches would have told the audience that the play would be full of
evil and lies. This scene is a short opening to the play. It is long
enough to awaken curiosity, but not to satisfy it. The mood of the
play is set, although the action and the introduction of the leading
characters do not start until the next scene.

In act 1, scene 2, we learn about the tough battle which Macbeth and
Banquo have fought, and win for the victory for Scotland. Duncun
rewards Macbeth for his courage by giving him the title 'thane of
Cawdor´,

"with his former title greet Macbeth."

Let us not forget that a 'most disloyal traitor' first owned this
title.

This scene tells us that Macbeth is thought of as a brave and valiant
man because he has killed so many people and won the battle almost
single-handedly. The language used is quite horrific and the deaths of
Macbeth´s victims are explained in all their gory detail. This ...


... middle of paper ...


...cbeth drugs the guards and takes their daggers. She then lays
them ready for Macbeth. She would have murdered Duncan herself if he
had not resembled her father. Macbeth returns having murdered Duncan.

Shakespeare´s use of language and structure manages to create tension
right up to the murder of King Duncan. He manages to gradually build
it up and then release it a little, and then increase it until finally
the act of regicide takes place. His use of dramatic irony, the
supernatural and indecision all combine to keep the audience on the
edge of their seats throughout these scenes. His use of the right
language in the right places helps the characters and the play to
become really believable.

Throughout the play, the supernatural plays a major role. A wise
choice by Shakespeare at the time and it still works today.

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