Scene 5 Act 5 Commentary

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Macbeth:She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in the petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle,
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury Signifying nothing. (5.5 17-28)

Act 5, Scene 5 Commentary
In act 5, scene 5 of Macbeth, William Shakespeare uses metaphors, diction, mood and tone to emphasize the concept that life is meaningless, in order to suggest the theme of ambition without moral constraints. Upon hearing of his wife’s death, Macbeth reflects on how pointless his own life has become. Shakespeare uses tone to declare Macbeth’s feelings toward life. Throughout this passage, the tone is very bitter and cold. “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” (5.5 26-28) After hearing a women’s cry, Macbeth realises his own mortality, and he speaks scornfully. While reflecting on how meaningless his life has become, an angry mood is established. Once realising his life is full of noise and melodrama, he sees that he really failed and his life does not signify anything. He quickly becomes enraged at how his life has turned out. Shakespeare has a very specific diction, and in this particular passage, he chooses to use repetition. “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow” (5.5 18) BY repeating ‘tomorrow’ over and over, the boredom of life in general is stressed by dragging the word out. He also chooses to use “petty pace” (5.5 19) and “dusty death” (5.5 22), forming alliterations. The use of similar sounds put emphasis on the fact that the days are just dragging on dreadfully, which only lead...
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