Macbeth Act 3 Literary Devices

Soliloquy Definition: An act of speaking one’s thoughts aloud when by oneself or regardless of any hearers, especially by a character in a play.Line (Act 3, scene 1): “Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown and put a barren scepter in my grip”Meaning: In this soliloquy, Macbeth is contemplating whether murdering Duncan was worth the trouble. He recalls the prophecy the Three Witches made stating that Banquo shall be the father of kings. Macbeth realizes even though he is king, he has no children to pass the crown to. This makes him nervous as he may have committed the murder for no real reward.
Metphor Definiton: A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.Line (Act 3, Scene 2): “We have scorch’d the snake, not kill’d it”Meaning: Macbeth is informing Lady Macbeth that even though they have killed Duncan, their troubles are far from gone. If they are not careful, this act of treason and murder may come back to haunt them.
Foreshadowing Definition: A warning or prediction of a future event.Line (Act 3 scene 1): “It is concluded. Banquo, thy souls flight, if it find heaven, must find it out to-night”Meaning: By stating this couplet, Macbeth ends the scene by predicting the death of Banquo. Macbeth hired the murderers to kill Banquo and Fleance in order to ensure control of the crown.

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