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Poetic Terms and MacBeth

When a non-human object is given a quality that only a human can possess.

"The queen, my lord, is dead.
She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable ot recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death.  Out, out, bried candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is head no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing." V, v, 16-28.

MacBeth is describing the grief he feels after the death of his wife.  Death in general, is only something that can happen to humans, and MacBeth is trying to lighten up the situation by giving something in his description a human-like quality.  Perhaps this will make is seem more familiar, and he wont feel as depressed.


"Ill deeds are doubled with an evil word" W. Shakespeare.

Cristen Kleindienst, English 11, Block A2, Mr. Brisebois, May 2005.