Metaphor: Act III, Scene II of Macbeth

Topics: Macbeth, Banquo, Conscience Pages: 1 (332 words) Published: March 10, 2013
Figurative Language
In Act III, Scene II of Macbeth (no quotations, italics), Shakespeare compares certain dangers that still need to be eliminated; in this case, Banquo and Fleance, to a “scorched snake”. This is a suitable comparison because a snake and a threat both portray danger and uncertainty. By specifically mentioning a “scorched snake”, we are able to conclude that Macbeth’s killing spree will continue throughout the play since he will never feel like he has gotten rid of his troubles. This comparison causes the audience to consider Macbeth’s current problematic state of mind caused by guilt and a troubled conscience, and additionally it foreshadows future deaths in the play. As readers, we understand that all of this is happening because of the prophecies stated by the witches when they met Macbeth. Since he was told he would be king, he currently sees Banquo and Fleance as possible threats, so he must get rid of them. Personification:

In Macbeth’s soliloquy, a shadow is personified as possessing the human characteristics of being able to walk. Macbeth says that “life’s but a walking shadow”, and the author employs this personification in order to represent that life is nothing but an illusion, and it can seem to be something that is not and also be over or disappear in a quick second.

In Shakespeare’s tragedy, “Macbeth”, the deliberate exaggeration expressed by Macbeth when he says he would “better be with the dead”, serves to express his current haunting and troubled mind. This passage leads us to understand that Macbeth would better off be dead like those who he has killed, so that way he wouldn't have to worry about them harming him and dreaming about the horrific ways they would do it. Through this heightened image, the reader understands that the speaker has been greatly affected by his past actions, and he feels as if the crimes he committed will be in the back of his mind until the day he dies....
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