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Where are examples of metaphor and simile in Act 2, scene 4, of "Macbeth"?Can you...

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heidynovak | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 25, 2009 at 1:54 PM via web

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Where are examples of metaphor and simile in Act 2, scene 4, of "Macbeth"?

Can you give examples of a simile and a metaphor from Act 2, scene 4 of "Macbeth" and explain how they are a simile and metaphor. 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 25, 2009 at 2:03 PM (Answer #1)

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I can see where you would have trouble with this particular scene.  Here's what I think you could use:

For simile, you could use the following lines.  In them, Ross says that Duncan's horses

Turn'd wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,
Contending 'gainst obedience, as they would make
War with mankind.

The part about "as they would make... mankind."  Is a simile.  It says that they acted like they were trying to make war on mankind.

As for metaphor, right at the beginning of the scene, Ross is talking to the old man and says

Thou seest, the heavens, as troubled with man's act,
Threaten his bloody stage: by the clock, 'tis day,
And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp:
Is't night's predominance, or the day's shame,
That darkness does the face of earth entomb,
When living light should kiss it?

He is metaphorically comparing people's behavior to a play and the world to a stage.  He also talks about the darkness entombing the earth comparing the night to a tomb.

I hope that helps...

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 25, 2009 at 2:27 PM (Answer #2)

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    In Act II, Scene IV of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, Macbeth has just slain the two grooms, sending Malcolm and Donalbain into flight to avoid charges of murdering the king. Macbeth is named king and leaves for his crowning at Scone. Ross and an old man discuss the recent events, and Ross decides to attend the coronation. Macduff, however, will not.

SIMILE.  There is a comparison of the disobedient minions (Duncan's horses) and making war. This could also be considered a personification, giving them the human characteristic of making war.

And Duncan's horses (a thing most strange and
    certain),
Beauteous and swift, minions of their race, 
Turned wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out,
Contending 'gainst obedience, as they would make
War with mankind.  (Lines 18-21)

 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 25, 2009 at 3:54 PM (Answer #3)

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In Act II, Scene 4 of "Macbeth," there is a metaphor in the second line as the old man speaks to Ross about the recent occurrences:

Threescore and ten I can remember well:/Within the volume of which time/I have seen hours dreadful and things strange/(II,iv,1-3)

Time is compared to a "volume," a book in which recordings have been made.  Ross's response also contains metaphors:

Darkness does the face of earth entomb (II,iv,10)

Ross implies that evil will cover the land, the "face" of the earth.  This tomb motif continues as Ross inquires where Duncan's body has been taken.  Macduff replies that it has gone to Colmekill [creek], the

sacred storehouse of his predecessors/And guardian of their bones (II,iv,45)

The burial area is called [compared] to a guardian.

A simile that is also present is in the old man's remark to Ross who describes the eerie atmosphere of the earth, comparing it to the murder of Duncan:

'Tis unnatural/Even like the deed that's done. (II,iv,12-13)

 

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