How does the atmosphere throughout the play "Macbeth" change?

Expert Answers info

Llewellyn Kassulke eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write3,263 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

In literature, atmosphere describes the feelings a particular work engenders in the reader. Atmosphere can be created through the use of specific objects, settings, and moods. In Macbeth, the atmosphere alternates between supernatural dread and outright danger as the play progresses. By the end of the play, however, an atmosphere of death and destruction prevails.

In Act One, the appearance of the witches lends an otherworldly, macabre atmosphere to the play. It is obvious that the witches are the heralds of doom. They accost Macbeth and Banquo, demanding to be heard. While Macbeth fixates on the witches' prophecy that he will be thane of Cawdor and king in the foreseeable future, Banquo is more disposed towards ignoring the three supernatural apparitions. By the end of Act One, Lady Macbeth emerges as a malevolent figure who goads her husband into contemplating regicide (killing a king/monarch).

Shakespeare uses Lady Macbeth and her malignant nature to inspire an atmosphere of fear and danger in...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 668 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write4,625 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History


check Approved by eNotes Editorial