Figurative language in Shakespeare
Ever notice in movies how the villain or villainess always seems to have a black cloud looming over them or lighting striking the ground beside them? The same strange happenings where used in the story Macbeth to reveal character. Shakespeare uses figurative language to tie Macbeth’s bad choices and others around him to nature and to illustrate nature’s efforts to expose Macbeth and bring Scotland back to balance. The figurative language that he uses is to explore human nature and show its connections with the natural world and the supernatural.
Through the use of figurative language, Shakespeare ties actions and events to nature. After Banquo and Macbeth encounter the witches and hear what they have to say, the witches vanish into thin air. Unsettled Banquo ponders “The earth hath bubbles as the water has, and these are of them: whither have they vanished?” (1.3.82-83). this simile tells the reader that Banquo is wary of the witches. “The earth hath bubbles, as the water has, and these are of them” explains Banquo thinks they are as strange as the bubbles of water. It shows that he is not as easily swayed by their news as Macbeth is and does not think Macbeth should take their news seriously. Duncan unlike Banquo is not keeping an eye on Macbeth but is instead rewarding him for is valiant acts of bravery. “I have begun to plant thee and will labour to make thee full of growing” (1.4.32-33). This quote is a metaphor that tells the reader that Duncan fully trusts Macbeth and is completely naïve to his dark true character. “I have begun to plant thee…full of growing” Duncan says that he will look for more ways to honour Macbeth. The metaphor uses the fertility of nature as a comparison. Duncan is easily fooled by Macbeth’s act. Banquo uses the example of bubbles in water to explain the strangeness of the witches and Duncan uses the example of a tree to explain his gratitude and dedication to Macbeth. Shakespeare uses...
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