Use Of Motifs In Macbeth

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Throughout his play Macbeth, Shakespeare utilizes multiple motifs, or recurring subjects, themes, or ideas, that enrich his play and further portray his ideas. He uses the motif of babies, children, and the unborn to compare character actions to children in order to emphasize their weaknesses. This motif is also used to portray the strong bond between parents and children and the lengths people go to uphold this bond. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth, Macbeth is true to King Duncan, however, hearing a prophecy from the witches that he will become king, he kills Duncan to gain the throne. Eventually Macbeth is filled with feeling of paranoia, guilt, and fear which lead to further murders. After hearing and believing prophecies from three…show more content…
One way it appears after a murder was after the killing of Duncan Macbeth began to feel guilty about this crime stating, “... I am afraid to think what I have done;/ Look on ’t again I dare not.” (II.ii.49-50) To this, Lady Macbeth says, “Infirm of purpose!/ Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead/ Are but as pictures. ’Tis the eye of childhood/ That fears a painted devil.” (II.ii.50-53) By this, Lady Macbeth is calling Macbeth a “baby” for being afraid of his crime. She is says that the dead are as harmless as pictures and only children are afraid of pictures. In this situation this motif is used to show Macbeth’s weakness of feeling guilty for the crime committed. Another way that this motif is used after murders is shown after Macbeth kills Macduff’s family. When Ross delivers the horrendous message, Macduff responds by saying, “What, all my pretty chickens and their dam at one fell swoop?” (IV.iii.223-224) This again shows the strong bond between Macduff and his children. It also shows that he is very hurt and may be looking for revenge. When asked if he would take revenge on Macbeth, he responds with, “He has no children.” (IV.iii.221) By saying this, Macduff is saying that killing Macbeth’s family or Macbeth himself wouldn’t have the same effect as killing his family for the love you have for your family is the strongest type of…show more content…
It has also helped to allow the reader to get a better understanding of character relationships and the feelings they have towards each other. During the planning, carrying out, and aftermath of a murder, this motif can be seen more frequently. This tends to happen during both the beginning and end of the play as that is when the major murders are committed. In conclusion, this powerful motif helps to bring together this play emphasizing important ideas and trait giving the reader a richer
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