Literary Devices In Macbeth

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Shakespeare, in the Tomorrow Speech in Act 5, Scene 5 of his play The Tragedy of Macbeth, sheds light on Macbeth’s increasingly negative view towards human existence. Shakespeare’s purpose is to express how vain human ambition can be. Through the use of metaphor and repetition, he assumes a grim, wearied tone in order to allow his audience to, on some level, understand and relate to the hopeless feelings of Macbeth. Through the use of metaphor in Macbeth’s speech, Shakespeare creates a despondent tone to portray the futility of ambition. Shakespeare’s description of life as a “walking shadow” emphasizes Macbeth’s sense of hopelessness, implying that if life, like a shadow, is intangible and only an illusion, anything accomplished in it also…show more content…
Towards the beginning of the speech, the line, “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,” demonstrates how an awareness of the cold endlessness of time is beginning to weigh on Macbeth (5.5.19). Just as tomorrows march on with little change from one to the next, so too has Macbeth’s life continued with little change of any permanent worth. Despite the fact that Macbeth’s ambitions guided him to secure the throne for himself by murdering Duncan, he was never able to secure his happiness but was instead drawn deeper and deeper into a reiterating cycle of violence that slowly wore him down. Attempting to eliminate one threat to his new royal status, he would commit further murder, only to discover yet another person who obstructed his way or endangered his position. However, as Macbeth is aware, his actions to protect himself never managed to address the perpetuation of Banquo’s line or the opposition from Macduff, which are the core threats to not only Macbeth’s own power but also that of his descendants. The perception that, because of this, he has been unable to make any significant progress in bringing his situation under his control leaves Macbeth feeling weary of trying to do so and disenchanted with life. By using repetition to portray time as a never-ending cycle that drives those who try to alter it to exhaustion,
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