Macbeth Literary Devices

personification “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player/That struts and frets his hour upon the stage.”
simile “Macbeth . . . like valor’s minion”
foreshadow The porter pretends to be guarding the gates of hell before the murder of Duncan is discovered.
allusion “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?”
alliteration “will I with wine and wassail so convince”
paradox “lesser than Macbeth and greater”
symbol The blood Lady Macbeth sees on her hands when she sleepwalks
dramatic irony “I will not be afraid of death and bane Till Birnam Forest come to Dunsinane.”
aside thoughts of a character, said aloud, for only the audience to hear
soliloquy speech by character, not heard by other characters
stage direction instructions for actors and props on stage
act division of a play, usually divided into scenes
hyperbole exaggeration
antagonist enemy to the story’s protagonist
protagonist hero (main character) of the story or play
theme the lesson or idea the writer is trying to convey
metaphor “[Life] is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”