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Analysis of Macbeth Soliloquies

Analysis of Macbeth Soliloquies

This essay is going to depict the moral decline of Macbeth. It will show how the language used provides imagery and detailed analysis of Macbeth’s state of mind.

Macbeth, in his first soliloquy, finds himself struggling with his conscience, over the possibility of regicide. He is concerned that the consequences he would face were vast, and that there are many reasons why he should not murder Duncan.

This first soliloquy clearly shows that these are his first thoughts on the matter, because of the haphazard way in which they are expressed. At the beginning of the soliloquy he has made no decision as to whether “the deed” will be undertaken, and at the end of the soliloquy he is still undecided, which is largely due to the intervention of Lady Macbeth.

The soliloquy opens with a euphemism of the word murder:
“If it were done.”
Macbeth uses this, and other, euphemisms because murderous thoughts are alien to him. Macbeth is portrayed by the language to be a very moral and conscientious man. The euphemisms show that the “horrid deed” abhors him, because he knows that regicide is a cardinal sin.

The soliloquy carries on by Macbeth describing his inner reasoning against the murder. Although Macbeth tells us that with the death of Duncan he would be successful, “With his surcease, success,” the word that Macbeth stressed was success. This implies that Macbeth is unsure whether this is the kind of success that he wants. This again shows the presence of a conscience within Macbeth.

Macbeth also uses spiritual reasoning against the murder. He claims that heaven will cry out “trumpet-tongued” against the deep damnation of his “taking off.” This indicates that Macbeth believes that such a horrifying deed would result in him “jumping the life to come,” that he would face punishment for eternity in hell. Macbeth also talks about a chalice. Churches would have used a chalice during the Holy Communion service, which emphasises images of light, love and good. However, Macbeth talks about a “poisoned chalice,” which leads to the opposite connotations: death as opposed to life, darkness as compared to light, evil instead of good.

Macbeth shows that he still has a conscience through the way he delivers this soliloquy. His use...

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