Macbeth is performed over two thousand times each year and as a result makes it one of the most produced plays ever. William Shakespeare is by far the greatest playwright to ever live. He inspired many, and 420 years have gone by and he is still known and his plays are read. Shakespeare’s eloquent words and famous quotes are what make his plays interesting. In Macbeth, the flow Shakespeare’s ideas throughout the various lines are put in a way that they create a mood for the audience and intrigue them more in what’s is happening. Shakespeare’s distinctive use of iambic pentameter, expressive style and most importantly his use of literary elements amplify the dialect in Macbeth. Irony, similes and alliterations are used to attract and confound the Elizabethan audience.
An important kind of figurative language used repetitively in Macbeth simile, which is a comparison between two unlike things using the words like or as. Shakespeare used similes to emphasize certain traits in each of the characters in Macbeth, and to help the audience understand and form a mental image of what he is trying to communicate to them. At one point of the play, Lady Macbeth addresses her husband and compares him to a flower:
Your hand, your tongue; look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under’t (I, v, 64-65)
Lady Macbeth says that Macbeth’s hand and tongue look like the innocent flower in order to show that he only appears to be pure and good, but is a serpent underneath; meaning the truth behind his appearance is the complete opposite. Shakespeare used this simile to add to the importance of the fact the Macbeth has an innocent outer shell and an inner darkness, creating an image where he is related to a flower. By doing this, the audience is more affected by Macbeth’s fake appearances, and it makes them wonder what is going to happen in the next play. Another simile used in the play is in one of Macbeth’s monologues about Duncan and what his assassination will do to his virtues:
“And, Pity like a naked newborn babe,
Striding and blast, or heaven’s cherubin, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind “ (I, vii, 21-25)
This stress what Macbeth is trying is trying to say even more, because Shakespeare is comparing the feeling of pity to a baby that is riding the wind with winged angels on invisible horses, spreading the news of the assassination to everyone. The feeling of pity for Duncan is emphasized strongly and shown to be important in the comparison, because it makes the audience view it as a helpless baby crying out to the people. This relation will once again bring forth the importance of Duncan’s life and could also be interpreted as a foreshadowing of the darkness to come about later in the play, if Macbeth were to go on with the deed.
Another type of figurative language that was used throughout Macbeth was alliteration, which is the repetition of a...