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Analysis Of Act 2 Scene 2 Of Macbeth

1373 words - 5 pages

Analysis of Act 2 Scene 2 of Macbeth

Act 2, scene 2, in the play of Macbeth, is a fairly significant scene,
in which to mark the changes of the two characters, Macbeth and Lady
Macbeth. Their minds and feelings are portrayed in this scene. It
helps to show the role, which they play and to what degree they have
been affected by the witches’ prophecies.

Act 2, Scene 2, takes place in the home of Macbeth as a result to the
murder of Duncan. It is interesting that Shakespeare chose to have the
murder of Duncan taking place offstage. This scene is also significant
in ways to show the reactions of the two characters to their crime and
sin. The murder of Duncan possibly took place off stage to cause the
dramatic impact to increase within the audience and let them imagine
it as grotesquely as they wanted to. At the time, it would have seemed
highly erratic, unacceptable and dishonourable to show the murder of a
King and the audience would have been horrified at seeing such a thing
taking place.

Using hindsight, we see that as the play progresses and more murders
take place, they begin to be revealed more on stage as the number of
murders increase. The murder of Duncan takes place completely
off-stage, the murder of Banquo takes place on stage but in complete
darkness, whereas the murder of Lady Macduff and her children takes
place under the light of the stage for the audience to see. This
gradual increase in visualisation of the murders can also help to show
the change in Macbeth, the increase in ruthlessness of his character,
his remorseless and unmerciful actions.

Act 2 Scene 2 shows more dramatic tension than murder of Duncan. The
reactions and dialogues of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have to murder of
Duncan has more relevance to the play than the deed itself. The scene
begins with Lady Macbeth by herself.

“ What hath quenched them hath given me fire ”

In this line Lady Macbeth is saying that she has the energy and
courage inspired by liquor to cope with what she has done to cause the
murder of Duncan.

She appears to be in a very uneasy and hesitant state, claiming to be
bold and courageous yet jumps to the sound of an owl. Owls, are birds
of night, and are recognised as ill omens. The owl is compared to a
bellman, which is a person recognised as to ring the bell before an
execution. It is possible; that Shakespeare meant Duncan to be killed
at this exact point as in the previous scene Macbeth is on his way to
kill Duncan.

Lady Macbeth says “He is about it”, using the term “it” to relate to
the murder. It is as if she’s too scared to say the word. It seems as
if the word “it” is more comforting to her than “murder” to help her
feel slightly more relaxed at knowing what she and her husband Macbeth
have done.

As Macbeth enters the room the tension and...

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