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Analysis of Macbeth soliloquy

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Analysis of Macbeth soliloquy I have chosen one of Macbeths soliloquys from Act 1 Scene 7. This scene follows Lady Macbeth welcoming Duncan into the castle to have a banquet to celebrate the sucess of the battle earlier that day. Macbeth has left the banquet to ponder the idea of murdering King Duncan. Macbeths first lines suggest "If it 'twere done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly" In these first lines there are many elisions making it very quickly spoken, Macbeth cannot bear to stay on the subject of murder for very long. Here Macbeth is saying, if only his troubles would end with Duncan's murder, then he would go ahead and do the murder, quickly. He just wants to get it over and done with. The use of 'it' shows Macbeth using neutral, non-specific language to disasociate himself as far as possible from the murder. Macbeth fears the consequences of the murder and implies that he would go ahead with the plan for the murder, if he were sure that this would be the "be-all and the end-all, here" . ...read more.


He seems to be a very imaginative and this can help to explain his visions later on in the play. Here the subjects changes. Macbeth starts to list the reason why he should not murder Duncan. Macbeth realises the King is here in "double trust." King Duncan is a relative, and also a houseguest. Normally, one does not murder one's own relative, especially not if they are a guest in one's own house. Lets not forget that Duncan is also the King so not only is Macbeth killing his relative and guest he is commiting treason. This epithet underlines both the heinous nature of the crime and Duncans vulnerability Macbeth continues to add to the list of reasons. He reminds himself that Duncan has been: 'So clear in his great office' Here he is saying Duncan was a great king so it is even more of a crime. Macbeths use of language starts to have overtones of christianity. ...read more.


'Striding the blast' and 'horsed' create a military image as he is a horseman. He is like the horseman riding on murder, spurred on by ambition. 'I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent.' Here Macbeth admits to himself he has not excuse for what his doing. He is almost digusted by what he will do. He acknowledges there is no reason beyond personal ambition for what he plans to do. Also he fears failure- that he will fall on the other side of this leap. The dramatic function of this soliloquy is to establish Macbeths state of mind. He is fearful, we see this when Lady Macbeth welcomes a trusting Duncan to Glamis Castle, Macbeth does not attend. This suggests he could not face Duncan, he is feeling very guilty. It also establishes that Macbeth is fully aware of what he is doing wrong and has no excuse. He has free will, he could and probably should have chosen not to do it but chooses to murder Duncan anyway. Also this solioquy takes place whilst Duncan in all innocence is attending a feast in his honour. ...read more.

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