Essay on Tension in Act 2 Scene 2 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Tension in Act 2 Scene 2 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Macbeth was written in1605; this was a period where there was a great interest in witchcraft and the supernatural. Many people including James I were scared and confused by ideas of the supernatural. The opening scene would in itself create tension amongst the audience, as it would suggest a play full of evil and lies, and also a theme of opposites and contrasts which occurs in the play, 'Fair is foul, and foul is fair', 'so fair and foul a day'. This also links in with the appearance and reality of Macbeth.

At the end of Act 2 Scene 1, and just following on from his soliloquy, Macbeth has been preparing himself to murder Duncan. There
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This also links in with the themes of naturalness throughout the book, as sleep is natural, and Macbeth is not sleeping.

Banquo has a premonition that something will go wrong. Macbeth is showing signs of stress, he is just about to go and commit regicide, and he meets Banquo. He fears that Banquo may work out what he is doing and figure something out when Macbeth is awake late at night and a murder is committed the same night. This would leave the audience very intrigued

We already know what time of the day it is, as Banquo says to Fleance, 'How goes the night, boy?', and he responds, 'The moon is down; I have not heard the clock.' This is included, as the play would have been performed in the daylight, so there needs to be language to indicate that it is dark.

This links in with themes of evil as it is assumed that evil happens when it is dark, linking in with themes of naturalness as Macbeth says that one half of the world is asleep, and this is obviously not the case. This would create a very tense atmosphere.

Macbeth's tiredness shows when he does not reply much to Banquo; he then hallucinates, seeing a dagger. The dagger is important in order to perceive Macbeth's state of mind. Many theatrical productions will include the dagger, however many will not, this is because if
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