How does Shakespeare create atmosphere throughout Act II, Scene 2 of Macbeth?

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Shakespeare immediately creates a tense, ominous atmosphere by depicting how Lady Macbeth hears the owl shrieking in the night. In Shakespeare's day, owls were viewed as evil portents that signified death and destruction. The shrieking owl indicates King Duncan's death and adds to the chilling, dark mood of the scene. When Macbeth enters the scene carrying the bloody daggers, he is visibly shaken and begins explaining to his wife that one of the chamberlains yelled "Murder!" in his sleep. Macbeth continues to elaborate on the auditory hallucinations he experienced in King Duncan's chamber while his wife attempts to calm him down. Macbeth's erratic, disturbed behavior adds to the chaotic atmosphere of the scene. After Macbeth says that he is too afraid to take the daggers back into Duncan's chamber, Lady Macbeth takes the initiative and carries the bloody daggers back into Duncan's room. Lady Macbeth's concern for her husband's mental health creates a tense, suspenseful atmosphere as she attempts to calm her hysterical husband. When she returns from Duncan's chamber, Lady Macbeth and her husband hear knocking at the gate. The repeated knocking conveys an ominous sense of the inevitable and is reminiscent of a death knell. The fact that it is Macduff knocking at the gate foreshadows his role in Macbeth's death and adds to the foreboding atmosphere of the scene.

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Shakespeare creates a tense atmosphere (or mood) in this scene beginning with Lady Macbeth's initial concern that Duncan's grooms have awoken and, in doing so, have prevented Macbeth from being able to complete the murder.  Then, the quick back-and-forth between the husband and wife when he enters the scene increases tension.  The nervous questions and short, terse, replies contribute to this anxious atmosphere.  Further, both of them have heard strange noises for which they cannot account, including the voice Macbeth heard that has promised that he will not be able to sleep peacefully anymore. 

In addition, when Macbeth and Lady Macbeth begin to conflict with one another, this adds to the tense atmosphere too.  He brought the murder weapons with him rather than leave them near Duncan's body and the men they are attempting to frame, and when he refuses to return them himself, Lady Macbeth scolds him for his lack of courage and returns them herself.  Once she does so, the couple begin to hear a knocking at the gate: each time they hear a knock, the tension increases because they know that Duncan's body will soon be discovered and they will have to pretend innocence.

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