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In this scene, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are both feeling a great degree of doubt and misgiving about what they have done to attain the throne. Macbeth remembers that the witches’ prophecy did more than just say that Macbeth would one day be king, it also said that one of Banquo’s line would one day be king. This prophecy leads Macbeth to mistrust his old friend. Macbeth’s paranoia reaches its height as he hires murderers to kill Banquo.
The following lines from Act III, Scene II by Macbeth contain two literary devices:
We have scotch'd the snake, not kill'd it:
She'll close and be herself, whilst our poor
malice Remains in danger of her former tooth.
In this quotation, the “snake” is a metaphor that represents the dangers posed to Macbeth as king. The term “scotch’d” probably means “scorched,” and signifies that they have not completely eliminated the danger.
This is also personification, because Shakespeare is saying that the snake will take action like a human would.
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