Macbeth Rhetorical Analysis

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Macbeth: the tragic story of the death of a soldier, a Thane, and a King. By the prophecy of the witches in the play, Macbeth fears no consequences in his quest for the crown. In doing so, Macbeth asks a lot of conspicuous questions, giving us insight into a possible feeling of guilt or even doubt of his actions. Furthermore, the majority of Macbeth’s more perceptive questions are rhetorical, meaning he knows the answers beforehand. I argue that instead of asking questions out of curiosity, he is using them as a personal vindication of his crimes, implying that there are two common themes centralized around his questions: justification and verification. Most of Macbeth’s questions focus on making himself feel good and resolving internal conflict, …show more content…

To fulfill the prophecy, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth decide that they are going to kill the King and expedite the process. Following the decision, Macbeth proclaims,“Is this a dagger which I see before me?” (2.1.33) He is about to kill the King, however he is questioning the very thought of doing so. Although he is only imagining the dagger at this point in the monologue, the question serves to let the readers know of his fatal intentions. Additionally, this question relates back to the idea of Macbeth being deceptive and manipulative. He’s passing off the murder of King Duncan to an inadvertent act, as we see in the next line, “The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.” (2.1.34) By claiming to not understand the situation, Macbeth uses these questions to make us believe that he is fulfilling the inevitable as outlined by the witches. Since Macbeth makes this out to be unavoidable, we are still able to feel empathetic towards him. By the end of the monologue, Macbeth has killed King Duncan, verifying the rhetorical nature of his first question and once more uses a question to relieve his guilt and clear his

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