Shakespeare uses many different ways to convey his ideas through Macbeth. Some examples of features Shakespeare uses in his play Macbeth are metaphors, iambic pentameter, and Macbeth’s hallucinations. The reason Shakespeare uses all of these different features in the play Macbeth is to get the idea across that Macbeth’s mind is beginning to unfold and fracture meaning he is starting to lose his mind.
In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the figurative language of metaphors to convey his ideas, for example, one of the metaphors Shakespeare used in Act 5, Scene 3 was “My way of life is fall’n into the sere, the yellow leaf”. When Macbeth states this in the play he is referring to himself. Shakespeare’s point that he was trying to get across with this metaphor was Macbeth’s life was just a small yellow leaf that was on the brink of dislocating off its branch and slowly going to descend to the floor where it will become weak and overtime will rot. When Shakespeare uses “way of life is fall’n into the sere” his point is that Macbeth’s life is weakening and is starting to “sere”. The word “sere” means “dry or withered”. Shakespeare used the word “sere” in this metaphor because Macbeth’s mind is wondering and beginning to collapse. The reason I think Macbeth’s mind is starting to collapse is that earlier in the play when Macbeth murders Banquo, he supposedly sees his ghost. Another metaphor Shakespeare uses to convey his ideas in Macbeth is “Out, out, brief candle!”. When Macbeth said this metaphor he was speaking aloud to himself regardless of anyone listening, this is called a soliloquy. By conveying this metaphor there are many different paths that can be taken to express the words and meaning behind it. Shakespeare’s idea and point behind this beautiful quote is, Macbeth is speaking to his wife “Lady Macbeth” to say that her life was to brief. The wick in her candle of life was to short and burned away too quickly.
Another alluring way Shakespeare get his ideas across through Macbeth is “iambic pentameter”. Iambic pentameter is a type of rhythm/beat Shakespeare used in his writing and plays. One of the reasons Shakespeare used iambic pentameter is because when his plays are performed there were many lines that the actors had to memorize and learn, but since the play is written in iambic pentameter it was much easier for the actors to master the lines in a period of time. Since iambic pentameter is a form of rhythm it is much easier for the human brain to memorize and learn than just reading the line over and over. It is quicker and easier for us these days to learn a song and get the tune stuck in our head then a paragraph that we read once and totally forget after 5 seconds. A perfect example of Shakespeare using iambic pentameter is “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow”. This quote is part of a speech that Macbeth delivered after Seyton delivers the news that his wife, Lady Macbeth has perished. This quote is good example of Shakespeare using iambic pentameter to get his ideas across. The sequence of this sentence is totally out of time with the rhythm of iambic pentameter. Iambic pentameter is a constructed of 5 beats, but with this sentence only contains 4 beats which means it is a different type of beat, this type of rhythm is called a “tetrameter”. A tetrameter is constructed by 4 beats. This is unusual because Macbeth throughout the play has spoken in the rhythm of iambic pentameter. This displays that Macbeth’s frame of mind is starting to collapse and he is losing the way of the iambic pentameter pattern.
Another intriguing way Shakespeare get his ideas across within Macbeth is through Macbeth’s hallucinations. Throughout the play one of the main hallucinations Macbeth has in Act 3, Scene 4 was when he was sitting at the table with his fellow king’s men. He later states that “The table’s full” because the ghost of Banquo is occupying the empty chair. But realistically the guilt of what Macbeth has done has finally caught up with him and his punishment has come in the form of hallucinations, visions of his victims, that will haunt him. Hallucinations are the proof of Macbeth’s mental state of mind breaking. Hallucinations prove the insanity of a human. Shakespeare is showing us that Macbeth is becoming insane, through the idea of hallucinations. Another valuable hallucination that Macbeth has in the play was in Act 2, Scene 1 were Macbeth was getting prepared to kill King Duncan. Only a couple of hours before Macbeth goes to kill King Duncan a dagger appears above Macbeth’s head. The reason Shakespeare creates Macbeth to see the dagger is to build the idea that Macbeth’s mind is starting to wonder and fracture. Shakespeare wants his audience to think that Macbeth is going crazy and he is seeing things. Shakespeare’s idea that he is trying to get across through the concept of hallucinations is that Macbeth is starting to lose his mind and karma is finally catching up with him.
Shakespeare has portrayed the idea that Macbeth’s frame of mind fractures and unfolds through many different ways in the play Macbeth. How Shakespeare showed the idea that Macbeth was losing his mind was through metaphors, iambic pentameter, and Macbeth’s hallucinations. For example, when Macbeth starts to speak out of the rhythm of iambic pentameter it shows the reader that Macbeth is starting to lose his mind. When Macbeth sees Banquo’s ghost occupying the empty chair at the dinner table he was actually having a hallucination of Banquo and his mind was playing tricks on him. Another way Shakespeare gets his ideas across through Macbeth is by using metaphors. A metaphor Shakespeare used to describe Macbeth’s state of mind was “My way of life is fall’n into the sere, the yellow leaf”. Shakespeare uses the word “fall’n” to describe Macbeth’s mind deteriorating over the course of the play.