Persuasion in Macbeth

Topics: Rhetoric, Macbeth, Persuasion Pages: 3 (1040 words) Published: June 15, 2014
Persuasion in Macbeth

Shakespeare, in his time period, was renowned for his marvelous play writing and pushing the English language to its limits. “Macbeth”, by William Shakespeare, shows the use of the three forms of rhetoric (logos, pathos, ethos) throughout the play. Shakespeare uses all three forms of rhetoric to have characters persuade others, and, themselves. Macbeth - later on - persuades himself to kill Duncan, the three Witches drive him to think about killing Duncan, and Macbeth, later on, persuades the three murderers to kill Banquo. Throughout the play, Shakespeare uses rhetoric (pathos, ethos, logos). Rhetoric is utilized through the play “Macbeth“ to persuade others to do things.

Macbeth, by adopting pathos, convinces himself to murder Duncan. “Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible to feeling as to sight? Or art thou but a dagger of the mind, a false creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?”. Pathos is described as the usage of emotions to persuade someone/self. Macbeth, here, has clearly begun to go mad. He begins to question what the meaning of the dagger is. He says “Is this a hallucination? Am I being lead to thee because I was planning on using a weapon just like thee?” (Act 2, Scene 1, 33-39). This is where it is shown that Macbeth, is indeed: out of his mind. He begins to believe that this is his destiny. After all, he has been given information from the Witches, who claim that he is next in line for the throne. Macbeth, putting two and two together, assumes this is what he must do. He makes himself believe that this is the only way, and convinces himself it is worth it. Prior, he was having doubts, and uncertainty. However, once he has this hallucination, he knows this is what he “must” do.

Macbeth is not the only character in the play who wields rhetoric language persuasion. The...
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