Literary Devices in Macbeth
Wordplay and Double Meaning: Shakespeare was a master of wordplay, double entendres, punning, and dramatic irony. Macbeth is no exception; the play is rife with literary devices and double-meaning. Shakespeare allows his audience insight into the deeper mental state of certain characters through the use of soliloquies.
Tragedy, Tone, and the Supernatural: The play follows the classic trajectory of the tragic hero: a once-heroic figure is stripped of power and reputation because of an inherent tragic flaw. Shakespeare employs supernatural elements including prophecy, hallucination, and witchcraft to create an ominous tone throughout the play. These supernatural elements are enhanced by fantastical language and imagery.
Literary Devices Examples in Macbeth:
Act I - Scene I🔒
Act I - Scene III🔒
Act I - Scene VI🔒
Act I - Scene VII🔒
"I have no spur(25) To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself And falls on the other—..." See in text (Act I - Scene VII)
Act II - Scene II🔒
Act II - Scene III🔒
"Knock, knock! Who's there, in th’ other devil's name?..." See in text (Act II - Scene III)
"Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious,(120) Loyal and neutral, in a moment?..." See in text (Act II - Scene III)