Macbeth Summary Essay, Research Paper
Act III Scene II
Context: This is the scene in which Lady Macbeth remains calm, and tries to make sure Macbeth is in a good mmod before the banquet.
Macbeth, on the other hand is feeling terrible about the crimes he’s committed and is in turmoil.
Language: Macbeth compares the people he’s killed with a snake. This metaphor is quite a large one, and lasts for several lines. “O! full of scorpions is my mind…” Shakespeare tries to show what Macbeth is going through with this image. There is much contrasting language in this scene as Macbeth uses harsh words and angry tones, while Lady Macbeth attempts to sooth him and calm him down.
Act III Scene IV
Context: Macbeth finds out that the murderers have killed Banquo, but, that Fleance escaped. Also, he is scared by Banquo’s ghost which shows up at the banquet. Lady Macbeth attempts to keep everything under control and maintain her composure, while Macbeth has a fit. This drives Macbeth to become careless, and just become totally selfish.
Language: Lady Macbeth scolds Macbeth for giving in to his fears, and letting his imagination get the best of him. “Approach thou like a rugged Russian Bear…” there are quite a few similes in this scene, which have no real effect except to provide a few simple images for the reader.
Act IV Scene III
Context: This scene’s purpose is to give the reader a feeling of how much is being built up against Macbeth. There is a great contrast in this scene because it opens with despair, and ends in friendship and confidence.
Language: Incredible amounts of contrast in this scene in the language.
The first part is all about evil, despair, and crime. The second part is about courage, and hope and confidence. Many metaphors in this scene:
“I think our country sinks beneath the yoke;” Shakespeare usually carries his metaphors quite far, and this is no exception. “The poor state esteem him as a lamb.” Shakespeare uses many references to animals in Macbeth.
Act V Scene V
Context: The death of Lady Macbeth, drives Macbeth to despair, but he still fights on to the end.
Language: Personification is used by Shakespeare in this scene.
“To-morrow…Creeps in this petty pace…”.
“Life is but a walking shadow…”
This incredible imagery gives the audience a great feeling of Macbeth’s despair.
Shakespeare probably uses soliloquies most effectively compared to any other author. This soliloquy (”Is this a dagger…” II,I) is definitely the most effective one in Macbeth. This allows Shakespeare to convey what Macbeth is truly feeling to his audience.
This relates to the rest of the play in that, this shows perfectly Macbeth’s state of mind. Shakespeare wants to show his audience what it would be like, to go against your own standards and to murder someone, to show how you would be, if you were in his place, about to kill a guest, ,friend, and king. Macbeth seems to be having delusions of a mystical dagger, guiding him and taunting him to do the deed, first he believes the vision to be real, but then decides it is a trick of his mind. Later in the soliloquy, he thinks it is his conscience, remindinghim of the horribly ironic situation he is about to enter into.
This puts a “weird” mood\emotion into the reader, because, you get the sense that, Macbeth doesn’t really want to do this, and is struggling until the last minute whether to commit an act of murder or not, but, as we know he ends up killing the king anyway. The audience is not aware that Macbeth will become evil to the core, and so are hoping Macbeth won’t kill the king. There is a sort of duality in the mood though, because, the audience may feel that they want Macbeth to follow the dagger. There is more, we get a feeling of how terrible what he’s about to do is.
“And take the present horror from the time,
Which now suits it.”
This line, which means: To break the eerie silence before the murder, instills the suspenseful feeling in the audience.
Also, Shakespeare paints a perfect picture, of how low Macbeth will be once he kills Duncan. This soliloquy is near the beginning and is important to building up to the climax in the play, and Shakespeare wrote it perfectly. It flows well, and makes me want to hear\read more.
In conclusion, the way the soliloquy was written, where it was placed in the play, the incredible imagery and diction, and the overall mood\tone along with the atmosphere it creates, makes it one of the best soliloquies I have ever read. Also, although Shakespeare’s diction is quite different than today’s English, it is quite clear what is meant by this soliloquy.