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Allusion in Macbeth

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  • December 19, 2010
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In this passage Shakespeare is talking about King Duncan and he uses imagery to create an image as to what will happen after his death. Shakespeare starts off this passage describing Duncan’s role as king. He talks about how Duncan was a humble ruler, “Hathe borne his faculties so meek”. He goes on to say that Duncan was no corrupt in his ruling; and as a result of his virtuous life as king will live on. Shakespeare continues with a simile, “his virtues will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued against the deep damnation of his taking-off.” Duncan was such a great king that the angels will plead like trumpets because of how unjustly and damned Duncan was taken from the living world. Shakespeare goes on in the passage and uses a simile to compare pity with a new-born baby. This is the part of the passage that the imagery in William Blake’s painting, Pity, starts to kick in. The painting is of a dead-looking woman, above the woman are two angelic creatures on two flying horses. The angel in the front is holding what looks like a small person or a baby. Shakespeare wrote, “pity, like a naked new-born babe striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubin horsed.” The baby in the painting is in the hands of the angels on the heavenly horse. The painting reflects what Shakespeare wrote, thus allusion is created. This passage ends saying that the pity will spread the news about how Duncan was really killed. As a result when people hear the truth “tears will drown the wind”. This means the people will be so shocked and upset that their tears will pour out and destroy the wind. The painting is a visual representation of what Shakespeare wrote. The baby in the painting is the personification of pity. The baby in the painting looks as though it is coming up from the body. This connects with the passage because the pity of Duncan’s death will go up to the heavens and the...