The Passage Of Time In Shakespeare's Macbeth

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The passage of time is the only certainty in life, and for many people it is horrifying. Nothing can stop time from continuing day after day, and as one of the the common experiences of all people, is a common theme in literature. Shakespeare’s Macbeth briefly touches on the subject in one of the most famous passages from Shakespeare. After Macbeth drives away all of his friends, he loses all of his happiness because he believes time will make everything he has done insignificant, and no one brings joy to his life to convince him otherwise. When people commit evil acts, they may no longer be able to see the good in life.

Macbeth’s soliloquy has distinct parts where he shifts topics, not necessarily divided by sentences. His first topic is in the first three lines, “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow / Creeps in this petty pace from day to day / To the last syllable of recorded time” (5.5.22-24). Here, Macbeth explains how he feels that “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,” or every day, is the same to him. The repetition of “tomorrow” also holds another meaning. Tomorrow is in the future, and his emphasis on the future means that he knows it will continue in the future. Each day “creeps” by, and he feels every second of the days that he hates. Even worse, they are “petty,” or meaningless, pure drudgery for him to live through every day. He sees no hope, and believes that this will continue until “the last syllable of recorded time.” Macbeth knows that all of his suffering
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