Homework Help

Macbeth Act I scene 3: Identify a Literary Device from this scene and explain how the...

user profile pic

simontimon | (Level 1) Honors

Posted May 5, 2012 at 12:43 AM via web

dislike 0 like

Macbeth Act I scene 3: Identify a Literary Device from this scene and explain how the literary device is used in these words

Give the number of the lines in brackets

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 5, 2012 at 2:10 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Act I, scene 3 in Macbeth uses many literary devices, especially in the witches' dialogue.

"I will drain him dry as hay" (18)-- This line uses simile, comparing the dryness to that of hay.  I like how the witch uses 'hay' in her comparison, something natural and common to the audience, which provides an interesting juxtaposition to the otherworldly strangeness of the sisters. 

"So foul and fair a day I have not seen" (37)-- Macbeth uses alliteration with the repeating consonant sounds which make the words sound similar, but the actual meaning of the words creates a vivid contrast.  This idea of contrast becomes a theme throughout Macbeth, that outward appearance does not always suggest inward motive.

"Into the air; and what seemed corporeal, melted, As breath into the wind" (81-82)-- Macbeth uses simile to compare the witches' disappearance to breathe evaporating in the wind.  The comparison is an interesting one, because Macbeth and Banquo use the natural world (bubbles, water, breath) to explain an unnatural occurrence.  This supports Shakespeare's developing theme of contrasting outer appearance with what is on the inside.



Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes