Personification In Macbeth

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Unchecked ambition can eventually result in having nothing worth living for. William Shakespeare illustrates this in his darkest play, Macbeth, through the downfall of Macbeth himself. In Act 5, Macbeth declares that life is, in fact, meaningless and that time is constantly ticking until we die. He says this immediately after he finds out that his wife, Lady Macbeth, committed suicide, thus marking Macbeth’s loss of everything he cared about. Shakespeare writes these lines in such a way that shocks the reader. He uses personification in “Life’s but a walking shadow,” and alliteration in “...a poor player” to grab the reader’s attention (5.5.27-29). By juxtaposing the softer phrase “poor player” with the harsher sound of “struts and frets”, Shakespeare strengthens the dark, ominous atmosphere formed by the words themselves (5.5.27-28). It…show more content…
Macbeth compares life to a “...walking shadow, a poor player / That struts and frets his hour upon the stage / And then is heard no more”(5.5.27-29). He is saying that life is nothing but an illusion, a bad actor worried sick about his time on stage only to never be heard from again . This is not the first time that Macbeth describes life as pointless either, he says that all the past has done is brought fools that much closer to their demise in the phrase “... all our yesterdays have lighted fools / That way to dusty death” (5.5.25-26). And lastly, Macbeth describes life as a “... tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing” (5.5.29-31). This comparison is the most obvious of them all, he declares once and for all that life has no real value and that it is full of fluff, pointless passion, and frivolous excitement. He comes to this by reflecting on how he got the kingship; through unchecked ambition, and realizes that it was not worth it; the murders, the lying, the confusion. Macbeth’s ambitious living caused him to end up not living at
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