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Manipulation and Regret in Macbeth - Essay Example

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In the paper “Manipulation and Regret in Macbeth” the author analyzes world of fear where the main character of Shakespeare’s classic play Macbeth lives. Regret can be a powerful motivator. A guilty person full of regrets often lives in a world of fear. …
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Manipulation and Regret in Macbeth

Download file to see previous pages... This passage from Macbeth relies on literary devices to explicate the dynamic between Macbeth and his wife. In Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy in lines six through nine, the alliteration of “destroy,” “destruction,” “dwell,” and “doubtful” represents the dark tactics that she uses to manipulate her husband. When Macbeth arrives in line 10, her diction changes from heavy consonants to lighter, condescending tones. Soft phrases like “how now” and “sorriest fancies” show that her shift in tone when he arrives indicates her ability to get Macbeth to do what she wants. Macbeth makes an allusion, another literary device, when he states: “We have scorched the snake, not killed it” (3.2.10). Macbeth compares Duncan to a snake in order to convey the message that Duncan remains a threat to the throne.  Macbeth uses a metaphor to describe Duncan’s death: “Duncan is in his grave. / After life’s fitful fever he sleeps well” (3.2.25-26). Life is compared to a fever, and death is compared to sleep. A sick person finds relief from sleep, just as Duncan finds relief from life through his death. He personifies regret when he says, “Treason has done his worse” (3.2.27). In this situation, Macbeth equates himself with treason, therefore personifying an act. He betrayed Duncan and shows remorse by calling himself a traitor. Macbeth further uses irony as he finishes speaking about Duncan. The irony lies in the fact that nothing more can harm Duncan because Macbeth committed the ultimate act of harm by killing him. “Nothing / Can touch him further” (3.2.29). The fact that nothing can further harm Duncan is a relief to Macbeth, as though Macbeth truly cared about Duncan and feels relieved that he will never have to worry about Duncan again.
Macbeth uses vivid natural imagery when he describes to Lady Macbeth how he is feeling:
Light thickens; and the crow Makes
wing to the rooky wood.
Good things of day begin to droop and drowse;
While night’s black agents to their preys do
rouse – (3.2.56-60)
Macbeth is comparing how he is feeling inside to night arriving in the woods. Innocence, or “good things of the day,” begin to droop and drowse. The alliteration of droop and drowse conveys a feeling of sadness as the day leaves. At nighttime, “black agents” come to scavenge for weaker prey. Macbeth feels like his innocence has gone with the day and he has become a scavenger looking for those weaker than him and conquering them.
This specific passage also reveals the deceptive nature of Lady Macbeth, as well as the gullible nature of Macbeth as he follows her blindly. On line 40, Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth “you must leave this.” Lady Macbeth understands that he feels a horrible guilt for killing Duncan and she knows what to say to make him feel better. There is an element of comfort to their relationship. Because Macbeth receives ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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