Act 2 Scene 2 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay
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Act 2 Scene 2 of William Shakespeare's Macbeth
The main theses in Act 2 Scene 2 are good and evil, light and dark, ambition, time, clothing, blood, sleep and chaos and order. The whole atmosphere of Macbeth is one of violence horror and fear, and this atmosphere is accomplished by use of darkness. Darkness symbolizes chaos, evil, treachery, disorder and going against nature which is seen as the light, innocence or the good. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are creatures of the dark. The murder of the King is set at night; this immediately gives us a feeling of foreboding. The noises of the night, the shriek of the owl and the eerie noise of the crickets that herald death, increases the tension as Lady…show more content…
However he has murdered a sleeping, innocent man. He says:-
“Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep- the innocent sleep
Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care”.
He realizes that now that he has murdered the king he will no longer sleep the refreshing sleep of the innocent. This leaves us in suspense wondering what form this sleeplessness will take. It also sets the scene for the later references to sleep. For example where Lady Macbeth walks in her sleep acting out the kings murder and Macbeths nightmares.
Another major theme is that if uncontrolled ambition triumphs over what is right and good then the person is doomed. It is Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s ambition that leads to their later downfall. The scene begins with Lady Macbeth nervously waiting for her husbands return from killing the King. This is the first sign that she has a conscience; this will come to haunt her later. However when Macbeth enters her ambitious nature takes control and she calmly tells him to wash away the blood truing to dismiss his fears.
“This deed must not be thought
After these ways; so, it will make us mad.”
This gives us a feeling of foreboding that her ambition will eventually bring madness.
Blood and murder are also major themes. They add to the suspense and horror of the play.
Romeo and Juliet Act 2 Scene 2 Analysis – Romeo’s SpeechGet Your
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Romeo replies to Juliet’s speech by agreeing to disown his name “Henceforth, I never will be Romeo”. Shakespeare implies the danger that the lovers are in when Juliet points out “the place death, considering who thou art”. This creates tension for the audience, and demonstrates Juliet’s concern for Romeo’s safety – “If they do see thee, they will murder thee. ” Romeo speaks metaphorically when he says “With love’s light wings did I o’erperch these walls”, suggesting there is no boundary to his love.
Romeo claims to find the idea of his death preferable to a life without the love of Juliet, “My life were better ended by their hate than death prorogued, wanting of thy love. ” Juliet admits to be blushing “the mask of night is on my face, else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek” and asks, “Dost thou love me? ” She goes on to express concern that she may have been too forward in her soliloquy asking him to forgive her for her foolishness “Therefore pardon me, and not impute this yielding to light love”.
Romeo declares his love by “yonder blessed moon” using celestial references. Juliet responds by refusing to allow Romeo to swear by something so changeable “O swear not by the moon, th’ inconstant moon”. She fears that it is the way their love will be “Lest that thy love prove likewise variable”. Juliet encourages him to be genuine and to use a less traditional, more spiritual concept of love, reinforcing the idea that she is taking the relationship seriously.
Juliet then tries to say goodnight “Sweet, good night. This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath, may prove a beauteous flower when next we meet. ” She then uses a rhyming couplet, “as sweet repose and rest come to thy heart as that within my breast. ” Romeo expresses his wish to prolong their time together “O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied? ” but they part as Juliet’s nurse calls her and they agree to meet again. “Stay but a little. I will come again” as they make a commitment to each other.
Juliet, going against stereotype, suggests that they should marry, “If that thy bent of love be honorable, thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow”. This is very bold and, rather than taking her time as she suggests earlier in the scene, this is because she has realized Romeo has matured and is taking their relationship seriously. Juliet’s promise to Romeo to “follow thee, my lord, throughout the world” is full of dramatic irony and foreshadows the final scene of the play, when Juliet follows Romeo into death.
The nurse calls for Juliet again who uses hyperbole “A thousand times good night! ” which indicates that neither wants to leave and reinforces the message that their meeting must reach a conclusion for now. Juliet says, “Bondage is hoarse, and may not speak aloud”. This is referring to the fact that the lovers must keep their love quiet and away from the family feud. Later, Juliet uses further hyperbole “’Tis twenty years till then” implying that it will seem a lifetime until they next meet. At the end of the scene, Juliet says one of her most famous lines “Parting is such sweet sorrow”.
This is a very well known oxymoron and demonstrates that she cannot bear to leave Romeo. The scene ends on several rhyming couplets. In conclusion, this scene demonstrates Romeo and Juliet’s attraction to each other and their desire never to be parted. I feel it is very moving, and poetic albeit surreal that a maiden could be so frank in those times and that a couple could achieve such a depth of love in such a short space of time particularly against such a divide. It also sets the scene for the final tragic sequence ahead.
Author: Brandon Johnson
Romeo and Juliet Act 2 Scene 2 Analysis – Romeo’s Speech
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