Macbeth- language, imagery and symbolism:

Language- some characters contradict themselves-1) Shakespeare uses paradoxes and oxymorons to heighten the tension: a) Witches use impossible predictions _________ (lies are never true)b)They speak in paradoxes, ambiguous- the audience doesn’t know what their motives are 1a)”lies like truth” 1b)”When battle’s lost and won”
Imagery- similes: 1) Act 3, scene 4, Macbeth is saying that he was solid and grounded, like a rock before 2) Act 5, scene 2, Angus compares Macbeth to a thief as he has stolen the power from Duncan. Angus is saying that Macbeth’s responsibilities as King are too much for him 1)” I had else been perfect. Whole as a marble, founded as the rock”2)”Now does he feel his title hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe upon a dwarfish thief”
Imagery- metaphors: 1)Act 3, scene 4, Macbeth describes Banquo as a snake and his son Fleance as a “worm”. He still sees Fleance as a threat, and is afraid of his venom” 1)”there the serpent lies, the worm that’s fled hath nature that in time will venom breed, no teeth for the present”
Imagery- personification: 1)Macbeth personifies life, comparing it to a “walking shadow” and an actor, whose influence is limited to his time on stage. Suggesting Macbeth thinks his life is brief and pointless ACT 5 SCENE 5 2) Here, the earth is personified as a person with a fever to show that Duncan’s death was unnatural ACT 2, SCENE 3 “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more”2)”The earth was feverous and did shake”
Health and disease represents the state of Scotland: 1) Macbeth asks the Doctor to cure Scotland (ironic because he cant see that Scotland’s disease is due to Macbeth)2)Macduff sees Macbeth’s reign as causing an injury to Scotland (A4S3)3) Malcom is later described as _________ that will cure Scotland, reinforcing that he’s the rightful king 1)”find her disease/and purge it to a sound and pristine health” 2)It weeps, it bleeds, and each new day a gash is added to her wounds”3)”Med’cine”
Everyday life can be disrupted by guilt: -Sleep symbolises a clear conscience- so lack of sleep suggests a guilty conscience: 1) After murdering Duncan- Macbeth worries he will never be able to sleep again: 2) It is also suggested that Scotland cant eat or sleep- being unable to fulfil basic needs shows how badly Macbeth affects the country A3S6 1)”Methought I heard a voice cry! Macbeth does murder sleep” 2)”Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights”
Images of blood and water symbolises guilt and innocence: 1) Shakespeare uses blood to represent guilt- from the blood stained daggers planted on the guards to the _______ that she imagines on her hands 2)The image of water is associated with washing away the guilt- L.Macbeth claims that _____________ but Macbeth wonders whether _________ will wash the blood and guilt away 1)”damned spot” 2) “A little water clears us of the deed” “all great Neptune’s ocean”

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