Macbeth Literary Analysis

Topics: Macbeth, William Shakespeare, Soliloquy Pages: 2 (623 words) Published: April 22, 2013
The Soliloquies of Macbeth
Many times in a play, a character, usually alone on stage and pretending that the audience is not there, thinks out loud. This type of action is called a soliloquy: “An instance of talking to or conserving with oneself or of uttering one’s thoughts aloud without addressing any person” (Oxford English Dictionary). A remarkable author, William Shakespeare, uses the soliloquy technique in his famous playwright, The Tragedy of Macbeth. In this tragedy, many of Shakespeare’s soliloquies target around Macbeth, revealing important aspects about himself.

The first soliloquy expresses Macbeth’s conscience, “indecision, and his fierce inner conflict” (Richard 383). He is dealing with the internal conflict of “pity and horror at killing the virtuous Duncan” (Jorgensen 8:90). In this soliloquy, Shakespeare defines Macbeth’s agonizing imagination: “Besides, this Duncan/ Hath born his faculties so meek, hath been/ So clear in his great office, that his virtues/ will plead like angels trumpet-tongued against/ The deep damnation of his taking-off;/ And pity, like a naked newborn babe,/ Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubin horsed/ Upon the slightest couriers of the air,/ Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,/ That tears shall drown the wind” (Shakespeare I:7:16-25). This best describes Macbeth as being directed into conflicts by prophesies of the three witches. Macbeth is a grief-stricken man with a wounded heart that is bleeding for someone else.

The second soliloquy is found in the beginning of Act II, where Macbeth is seen alone with a “dagger” in his hand. Macbeth is giving into evil and the “terror in his soul and his inability to recover his lost innocence” (Richard 383) is revealed. He lets the illusion of the dagger affect him greatly by talking about satanic images of witchcraft. Shakespeare verbalizes the evil spirits as he goes on to write: “…witchcraft celebrates/ Pale Hecate’s offerings, and withered murder,/ Alarmed by his...
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