Macbeth Stylistic Devices

A. J. Wronski Shakespear Style Analysis Mr. Mettey English IV December 19, 2012 Macbeth Stylistic Devices In the play Macbeth, William Shakespear uses several stylistic devices. These devices help contribute meaning to the central themes of the play. One of the main devices used by Shakespear to convey the theme, the fall of man, is symbolism. Strange occurences, birds, and blood are all symbols that hlep convey this theme. The first examples of symbolism are the strange occurences after Duncan is murdered. After Duncan is murdered, Ross and the Old Man talk about many strange things that are happening.
They talk about how its unusually dark when its daytime and how an owl attacked a falcon. They also talk about how Duncan’s horses were acting strange and how they, “Turned wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out, Contending ‘gainst obedience”(2. 4. 16-17). The fact that these strange occurrences happen right after Duncan’s death means that they could symbolize his death or his downfall which supports the theme of the fall of man. The symbolism of birds also helps convey the theme of the fall of man. Birds are used many times throughout the play as symbols but once in particular before Duncan is murdered.
While Lady Macbeth is talking about her thoughts to murder Duncan she says, “The raven himself is hoarse/ That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan”(1. 5. 36-37). Ravens are birds that usually symbolize death. This raven symbolizes the death of Duncan that is soon to come which conveys the fall of man as Duncan will soon fall. Blood is also a very strong symbol in this play. After Macbeth kills Duncan, his hands are stained with blood. Lady Macbeth tell him to just wash it off and forget about it but Macbeth can’t do that.

Macbeth questions if, “All great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood/ clean from my hand”(2. 2. 58-59)? Macbeth is saying that nothing will ever be able to wash away the blood of Duncan off his hands. This blood symbolizes the strength of Macbeths guilt and hints that that this guilt could possibly be his downfall in the future. The symbolism that Shakespear uses in Macbeth is very strong. Its helps clearly convey the theme of the fall of man. Through the use of the symbols of the strange occurences, birds, and blood the theme of the fall of man is clear throughout the play.

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