Macbeth Act 5
The Apparitions give Macbeth various pieces of information
The Apparitions prophecies vs Macbeth's interpretation of them
Macbeth's ambition got him his crown but it's his tragic flaw so it brings his demise
He begins to doubt the witches after the messenger gives him the news that the forest is moving (actually an army in disguise)
“With his surcease, success, that but this blow
Might be-all and end-all here
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We’d jump the life to come.” (1.7.4-7)
“Against my nearest life, and though I could
With barefaced power sweep him from my sight” (3.1.135-136)
“I will not be afraid of death and bane
Till Birnam Forest come to Dusinane” (5.3.68-69)
“And wish the estate of the world were now undone.” (5.5.55)
Two Faced and Careless
“Look like the innocent flower,
But be the serpent under it.” (1.5.72-73)
“A little water will clean us of this deed.” (2.2.80)
“Out, damned spot! Out, I say! One – two –why then ‘tis time to do it. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie!” (5.1.30-31)
“I tell you yet again, Banquo’s buried. He cannot come out on his grave.” (5.1.55-56)
- FORESHADOWS the chaos about to unfold as a result of foul play and wicked occurrences to come
- ALLUDES to the great chain of being
- PERSONIFICATION: "deaf pillows" (Though pillows are usually an item for safe sleep, their purpose will change to something much more evil)
"Those he commands move only in command/ Nothing in love. Now does he feel his title/ Hang loose about him, like a giant's robe/Upon a dwarfish thief." (5.2.22-25)
- FORESHADOWING- What is a loyal king without loyal subjects?
- IRONIC that acquiring the title of kingship does not come with all the promised benefits
- A SARCASTIC SIMILE: With a hint of emasculation, angus compares macbeth being king to a dwarf in a giant's robe
"Till Birnam Wood remove to Dunsinane/I cannot taint with fear." (5.3.2-3)
- PARADOX- it is not common for most forests to uproot themselves
- Shakespeare formulates a PLAY ON WORDS that doesn't make sense until Scene 4
- IRONY is shown as Macbeth projects utter confidence
"Then yield thee, coward/ And live to be the show and gaze o' th' time./ We’ll have thee/ as our rarer monsters are/ Painted on a pole, and underwrit/ 'Here may you see the tyrant.'” (5.8.23-27)
- GRAPHIC IMAGERY- Macduff paints the audience a picture of the tyrant Macbeth experiencing public humiliation
- SIMILE shown in the statement,"We'll have thee, as our rarer monsters are"; compares Macbeth to abnormal animals seen in freak shows
"Why should I play the Roman fool and die/On mine own sword?" (5.8.1-2)
- ALLUDES to Ancient Romans, who believed that a death by suicide was much nobler than facing the possibility of being captured and/or tortured by their enemies
- FUN FACT: Lady Macbeth's death is a matter of controversy among scholars
Figurative Language Continued: Life and Macbeth
- METAPHOR: Macbeth compares his current life to that of a withering autumn leaf
- FORESHADOWS the possibility that his life will soon come to an end
2. "And all our yesterdays have lighted fools/ The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!/ Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player/That struts and frets his hour upon the stage/And then is heard no more." (5.5.22-26)
TWO METAPHORS FOR LIFE
- LIFE = A candle, also provides subtle imagery ("dusty death")
- LIFE = an illusion, compared to an actor with 15 minutes of fame
Hang out our banners on the outward walls.
The cry is still "They come!" Our castle's strength
Will laugh a siege to scorn. Here let them lie
Till famine and the ague eat them up.
Were they not forced with those that should be
We might have met them dareful, beard to beard,
And beat them backward home. (5.5.1-8)
2. Lady Macbeth
Out, damned spot; out, I say. One, two,—why, then ’tis time to do’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier and afeard? What need we fear who knows it when none can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?
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 of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Link to Modern Day
- Rebecca Zahau was a 32 year old girlfriend of millionaire Jonah Shacknai.
- She felt guilty because his six year old son Max Shacknai got injured under her care.
- He tumbled down the stairs in the mansion and ended up with severe brains injuries.
- Max passed away at San Diego Hospital few days after the fall.
- After the incident Rebecca felt this huge guilt for letting Max get injured.
- She took her own life two days after Max's death.
1. Do you believe that Lady Macbeth influenced Macbeth to become more devious or was that a character trait he always possessed deep within him?
2.Did Macbeth truly loved his wife or was she just subjective to his goal of becoming king?
3. Now that we've finished the play: Do you think Macbeth killing the King was part of the prophecy or his free will?
4. In our world today, should there be more dependence on fate or the choices we make? Explain why.