Macbeth Text Analysis- Act 2 Scene 1

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Many different techniques are used in Macbeth to help the reader become involved in the story. These techniques include character portrayal, framework, imagery and contrasting.

Macbeth is a Shakespearean tragedy, which shows the downfall of a noble but flawed protagonist in the face of his greed. Macbeth’s downfall was his lust for power, which is illustrated in this passage. The passage also demonstrates how Macbeth cannot avoid temptation and how he gives in to evil to achieve his own desires.

Act 2, Scene 1 sees Macbeth expressing his inner turmoil about murdering Duncan the King. The writer’s main feat in this soliloquy is communicating Macbeth’s verge on insanity. It is here in this final passage that Macbeth ponders committing regicide for the final time. Further, the events leading up to this point in the story set up for Macbeth’s downfall. Shakespeare has set this soliloquy immediately before Macbeth murders Duncan to build suspense using dramatic tension and to display Macbeth’s contemplations about the deed. It captures Macbeth’s mental state at this point in the play. It is the last time we see the noble Macbeth before he is pushed into a mix of paranoia and insanity. This is one moment in time just before the pivotal point where Macbeth seals his doom.

The soliloquy uses visceral imagery to emphasize Macbeth’s verge on insanity. Shakespeare illustrates Macbeth’s paranoia and madness to the reader by projecting the Macbeth’s gory thoughts and illusions. For instance, after the servant leaves the courtyard we learn of Macbeth’s unsteady thoughts as he visualizes a dagger beckoning him towards it. Knowing the dagger is just a figment of his imagination Macbeth questions his sanity and attributes the state of his mind to heat oppression, meaning that it is sick and feverish. Macbeth goes on to articulate his feelings about the dagger and how he is suppose to use it to kill Duncan.

Macbeth’s thoughts about killing Duncan are portrayed...
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