The Language and Metaphors Used in MacBeth by Shakespeare

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Act 1, Scene 7 of Macbeth opens with an aside from Macbeth himself. He discusses the upcoming murder of Duncan, and through Shakespeare’s diction he shows that Macbeth is clearly aware of evil, is knowledgeable about the consequences that the murder would create (Discusses consequences from lines 1 to 10), and the depths of his dark desires (Lines 6 to 7 states that he would risk eternal damnation to be king). Lines 8 to 9 are the first of many lines to link blood to guilt and cosmic retribution. Blood is a recurring motif throughout the play. The mention of the ‘poisoned chalice’ in line 11 foreshadows Duncan’s murder and is one of many murder-weapon mentions. In Macbeth’s aside metaphors are strongly used to create a stronger effect on the reader; in lines 25 to 28 Shakespeare uses horse metaphors to represent Macbeth’s ambitions and its effects.

It is interesting to consider the language used in Macbeth’s aside. Although he is seen as evil, the eloquent way in which he expresses his dark desires could be seen as giving a more human side. His intelligence and awareness may be considered as Shakespeare giving him more humane attributes, but leaves the reader questioning why someone so intelligent may commit such an atrocious crime.

Clothing metaphors are used in lines 32 to 36.This is a reoccurring feature of the play, and are often used in regards to Macbeth and his rise to power. In this instance Macbeth describes people’s opinions like new clothes not to be discarded
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