7th November 2018

Macbeth Practice essay

Important literary techniques that is used in the play Macbeth is the use of symbolism and personification. Shakespeare uses many different literary techniques through the play and these techniques help us understand the plays bigger meaning that is trying to be portrayed. The main ideas that Shakespeare is trying to show through the play is the never ending drive of ambition for security and greed and is conveyed through the degrading state of mind and morals of Macbeth. This helps to support these ideas that Shakespeare is trying to convey and shows us the damage that ambition can have on a person’s state of mind.

” Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. ” This convey’s the imagery of darkness, the never ending conflict overhanging  Macbeth and the turning point of Macbeth’s morals as a person. Shakespeare has used personification to show Macbeth’s despair and personifies this as a dagger to symbolize how Macbeth begins to lose his sanity as he sinks deeper into a dark pit of madness.

After analyzing the quote even more we can understand that Shakespeare has done this to show how the dark ambition of Macbeth for security and power has enveloped him and taken over and now guides his moral compass. His own ambition has turned into a greed, wanting to know more of the future for his own gain and self worth, tossing people to the wind not caring who stands in his way. The use of Personification helps to show the turning point of Macbeth’s mind and how Macbeth could have stopped at this point of time. Macbeth how ever realizes his own insanity ” A dagger of the mind, a false creation ” form this part of the quote we can tell how Macbeth knows that he is hallucinating. We can see how Macbeth begins to lose contact with the real world that is happening around him, he is now consumed by the ambition of security. 

Another quote that uses the the literary technique of personification is the quote ” Stars hide your fires let not the see my black and deep desires ” From this quote we see how Macbeth personifies the stars as angles looking down above him judging what he is doing ” stars hide your fires “, Macbeth knows that what he is thinking of or plotting is unholy and does not want to have it been seen in the eyes of god. Shakespeare also uses dramatic irony as we as a watcher or reader are the only ones to know that Macbeth has these deeper desires ; we also know that if acted on, will be reproductions to come of this dark ambition.

Looking further analyzing this quote we can tell that there will be more to come of these desires that are consuming Macbeth the more that he is trying to avoid them. Using this the literary technique of personification and dramatic irony we are able to experience the conflict that is never ending in Macbeth,  we also see how Macbeth was form the beginning had this conflict but was nudged forward by external elements acting on him. We are able to see how the witches pushed him closer towards to the edged of madness by telling him prophesies of the future and lathering him with praise. 

The use of literary devices in the play Macbeth, written by Shakespeare, helps to convey the ideas of lust for security and greed. There are many different literary techniques that are used throughout the play but the use of personification and symbolism help to convey this best. Analyzing the play further we can see how these techniques help to understand the play as a full, this is done by giving us an in site into the never ending conflict that is happening inside of Macbeth. We see how Macbeth’s fleeting state of mind is portrayed using the use of personification and we can find man other examples through the play. Shakespeare has done this as a way to portray these conflicts inside on Macbeth and the tainted ambition within him. 

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Your ideas and the level of insight (not: in site) in this essay are excellent. What you need to work on is the clarity of the way you’re expressing yourself – particularly the structure of your argument.

    • Make clear statements at the beginning of each paragraph.
    • When you use a quote, avoid saying ‘this quote says’. Instead you could use formulations like “When Macbeth says , Shakespeare uses metaphor to indicate that…”
    • Use the wording of the question often to ensure you’re still answering the question in every paragraph
    • Make sure your link between the language used and the effects you’re analysing is clear. Remember, (i’m guessing as you didn’t include the question you’re working to) that the question asked you simple to relate language effects to the ideas Shakespeare was getting across. You almost complicated that too much by referring also to his deteriorating state of mind (but you did get there, and this did show insight)
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