How Shakespeare Creates Tension & Suspense in Act 2 Scene 2

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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…show more content…
Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth fear someone has heard them and the fear the guards will reawaken. The audience also wonders whether they will be caught or get away with their heinous crime. Next, Lady Macbeth must revisit the death chamber to dispatch the guards. Macbeth continues to create anxiety amongst himself and the audience when he hyperbolically claims that ‘all great Neptune’s ocean could not wash the blood clean from these hands’, and will instead turn the great sea red. Tension is ample at this point; Macbeth’s words are dramatic and he is finding it difficult not to blow things out of proportion. He is making things worse for himself, letting his imagination run wild while his wife is out of the room fixing the crime scene. Again, Shakespeare uses sound to engage the audience in the suspense, as a knocking is heard at the door (Macduff) and unintentionally reminds them that they must be
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