Macbeth English Coursework Essay

Published: 2019-10-19 15:52:33
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1. The scene opens with Lady Macbeth speaking in soliloquy; as a director I would tell the actress to look agitated, maybe wringing her hands and pacing the stage, quite near the back of the stage so it looks as if she is almost trying to hide.

In the first soliloquy she seems less powerful compared to when she is with Macbeth. Lady Macbeth begins to imagine noises that represent bad omens, for example, the owl shriekd. She probably didnt hear that noise but an owl shrieking is a symbol of evil and she knows she is doing wrong. She then begins to go over the plans as if she is reassuring herself of what to do and wondering what is going on and how the plan is doing.

Lady Macbeth obviously wasnt that confident because she even says that she needed an alcoholic drink to calm her and make her brave again. Then when Macbeth enters, still in soliloquy, she panics that Macbeth hasnt committed the murder, that they woke up and caught him and she expresses her doubts very obviously as shown in this quotation, I am afraid this shows how she lacks confidence and proves that she wasnt bold.

Then when Macbeth and Lady Macbeth begin to talk to each other they are both very nervous and jumpy but slowly Lady Macbeth begins to regain control again and she can then comfort and sooth Macbeth who is very shocked and seems almost hysterical. Then Macbeths concerns worry Lady Macbeth but she still remains in control because she starts to command and order Macbeth around. For example, give me the daggers, get on your nightgown; Lady Macbeth regained her calm and Macbeth has become worried. Lady Macbeth gets worked up because of Macbeths doubting and worrying and she is almost shouting in rage at him when she says infirm of purpose and as a director I would definitely say to be bossy and very angry towards Macbeth.

She then begins to insult him which shames him as he is supposed to be a brave warrior when she calls him a child so she has definitely regained her control and is bold at the end of the scene.

2. In lines 16-31 Shakespeare creates lots of tension and anxiety by showing Lady Macbeth who is supposed to be very brave and someone who would rather bash her babys brains out than show cowardice being nervous and jumpy. Lady Macbeth says that she couldnt do it herself and doubts that Macbeth has the willpower to do it as well. Following this there is a very jumpy quick exchange between them in lines 22-30. The punctuation in this section is very short like full stops exclamation marks it is very quick answering, they almost finish off each others sentences. This would make the audience think whether they were going to get away with it? Would they be found out? Could they cover it up? Lie about it? So this creates a lot of anxiety as the audience want to know what is going to happen to them.

3. Macbeth is in a state of shock when he returns from Duncans Chamber. He hears sounds which frighten him so he appears very shocked and upset when he enters the scene. He is concerned that they will be found out and in that era the punishment would have been death for high treason. When he talks to Lady Macbeth they have a very quick and nervous exchange. During this exchange he begins to realise the seriousness of what he has just done and Macbeth then begins to feel guilty. He doesnt seem to be able to focus on one thing at a time but the two dominant things he talks about is that he wont be able to get spiritual forgiveness and he wont be able to sleep.

He then starts to talk about two lodgers praying and the fact that when they said Amen he couldnt because he had gone against God and broken the Divine Right of Kings. The Divine Right of Kings is an ancient belief system that was the eldest son of the king or queen would become the next ruler of the country. Macbeth had killed the king and taken his place so broken this spiritual belief. So Macbeth knows that he has disobeyed God and cannot get forgiveness. This is shown in lines 37-44. In these lines a very strong metaphor is used to show just how guilty he feels. The metaphor is: Hangmans hands. This is comparing his hand to those of someone who kills frequently so this means that Macbeths guilt is so strong that it feels as though he has killed more than one person.

The second dominant topic is that Macbeth sleep has the power to heal and nurture people who are troubled and weary but he has lost the right to sleep and will never sleep again. Lines 47-52 use a lot of good personification which further shows the guilt that Macbeth is feeling. He refers back to the witches in this extract: Glamis hath murderd sleep, and therefore Cawdor

Shall sleep no more; Macbeth shall sleep no more. this suggests that the witches are on his mind and how their prophecies have driven him to treachery.

He then begins to question why he is jumpy; why his guilt and regret is so great; why he cant go back in the room or even look at his hands.

4. The scene starts off with Macbeth in control because Lady Macbeth couldnt commit the murder but after Macbeth did he couldnt re-enter the room and face what he had done. Their relationship is very interesting because they have a large reliance on each other. Lady Macbeth needs Macbeth to commit the murder and Macbeth needs Lady Macbeth to drive him and push him so he has courage to commit the crime.

Macbeth looses all his control in the relationship after he commits the murder because he is so haunted and shocked by what he has done and he then needs Lady Macbeth to calm him and make him feel at ease. You can find this change between lines 20-79. Lady Macbeth is in complete control at the end because she begins to call Macbeth names to make him feel ashamed of his cowardice and uses very commanding vocabulary to make him hide what they know and she is in some ways scared in case he cant pretend that he doesnt know anything.

5. The main themes of the play are nearly all mentioned in this scene. To me the most significant theme is that this story is about a man who potentially could have been great, powerful and strong but has been corrupted by darkness, witches and greed.

Witchcraft is the theme that got them to this stage and is what really drives Macbeth to commit the murder. The witches prophecy drives him to killing anybody who got in his way especially Macduffs family in Act IV Scene 2. Macbeth is constantly referring back to the witches and seems to have complete trust in them. An example showing that they are on his mind is in Act II Scene 2 when he is distraught about the murder in lines 55-57. Lady Macbeth also refers to witchcraft when she hears bad omens like the owls scream so witchcraft and darkness is a main concern and theme of this particular scene.

The theme of deception is carried on throughout this scene; at a more physical level than the deception of the witches with their contradicting language. In this scene, Act II Scene 2, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are putting the blame of the murder on the Kings guards and appearing to be unaware of the situation.

Bloodshed and guilt is another key issue especially with phrases like Hangmans hands and they very graphic visual image in lines 76-79. This theme is referred to throughout the rest of the play and eventually until Lady Macbeths death. The guilt is so strong that it causes her to take her own life and the guilt rules Macbeth into decisions and causes a lack of sleep which is another key theme. His lack of sleep is because he has ruined his own equilibrium.

Macbeth knows that he has disrupted the Divine Right of Kings so therefore upset God. So Macbeth finds that he is unable to pray and has lost the right to sleep which is natures healer which is a theme which continues right from the murder to the end of the play. He becomes mentally disturbed.

The final topic in this scene is the power shifting in the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. They both rely on each other to be strong.

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