Macbeth Literary Devices

protagonist Macbeth / Lady Macbeth
antagonist opposite of Macbeth / Lady Macbeth
symbol blood on Lady Macbeth’s hand
simile “Macbeth . . . like valor’s minion”
paradox “lesser than Macbeth and greater”
allusion mentioning “Medusa” in the story
foreshadowing the porter pretends to be guarding the gates of hell before the murder of Duncan is discovered
plot order of events in the story (Macbeth meets witches, kills Duncan, he is killed)
symbolism “a little water clears us of this deed”
dramatic irony Macbeth hearing his apparitions
clothing imagery “why do you dress me in borrowed robes?”
allusion “will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?”
metaphor “[Life] is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
soliloquy Macbeth talking about seeing a dagger, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow speech, and Lady Macbeth milk speech are examples of a…
personification “life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player/That struts and frets his hour upon the stage.”
alliteration “but now I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in to saucy doubts and fears”
dramatic irony Duncan saying how nice Macbeth’s new castle is prior to Macbeth killing him
dramatic irony Macbeth not knowing he is to be dubbed Thane of Cawdor
personification “was the hope drunk”
simile “look like the innocent flower”
character foil Banquo
mood mentioning of the bad/good weather throughout the play creates…
aside thoughts of a character, said aloud, for only the audience to hear
soliloquy speech by character, not heard by other characters
dramatic irony “I will not be afraid of death and bane Till Birnam Forest come to Dunsinane.”
motif a reoccurring word, phrase, image, object, idea or action in a work of literature
tragedy a literary work the recounts the downfall of the dignified, superior character who is involved historically or socially significant events
hamartia flaw in judgement
climax when Macbeth is killed
falling action after Macbeth is killed
resolution Malcolm becomes the King
theme gender issues and issues of masculinity
verbal irony “twas a rough night”
situational irony when Lady Macbeth takes part in Duncan’s murder with no regrets, but is overwhelmed with guilt at the end of the play, leading her to kill herself
dramatic irony irony that is understood by the audience, but not by the characters
situational irony irony that is opposite from the expected outcome
verbal irony irony in which a character says one thing but means the opposite or when using words to convey a meaning that is opposite of the literary meaning
situational irony Macbeth killing Duncan to gain the throne, thinking only of the power and wealth he will enjoy as the new King of Scotland
external conflict Macbeth vs Scotland
internal conflict Macbeth vs self
external conflict Macbeth vs Lady Macbeth
situational irony when Macbeth is dubbed Thane of Cawdor by Duncan (Duncan doesn’t know that Macbeth is a traitor)
personification “hath it slept since?”
theme difference between kingship and tyranny
motifs violence, hallucinations, and prophecy are examples of what?
symbol weather being associated with murder and death
soliloqy Macbeth debating whether or not to kill Duncan
rising action Macbeth kills Duncan
tragedy a genre that often deals with a lot of irony
tone the ____ of the Tragedy of Macbeth is dark, ominous and suggestive of a world turned topsy-turvy by foul and unnatural crimes
alliteration “and play the humble host”
alliteration “and we will require her welcome”
personification “for my heart speaks they are welcome”
metaphor “there the grown serpent lies; the worm that’s fled”
imagery some examples of ______ in Macbeth are blood, animal, light/dark, etc.
Middle Ages, 17th century describe setting (time)
Scotland describe setting (place)

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