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Explain the clothing metaphors.Macbeth's reaction takes the form of a metaphor: why do...

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lifebc | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 21, 2010 at 10:01 PM via web

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Explain the clothing metaphors.

Macbeth's reaction takes the form of a metaphor: why do you dress me  In borrowed robes Explain this metaphor. The clohes metaphor is used throughout the play. Pay careful attention to how and why it is used whenever you come across it

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fezziwig | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted October 22, 2010 at 12:21 PM (Answer #1)

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A metaphor compares two unlike things without using "like" or "as."

So, the metaphor in Macbeth's question,"Why do you dress me / In borrowed robes?" is the Thane of Cawdor's title. A "robe" is a symbol of royalty and authority, like the title of a thane.  And the word "borrowed" reveals that Macbeth does not know that the Thane of Cawdor is a traitor and who has been stripped of his title by King Duncan, and soon will be executed. Macbeth believes that the Thane of Cawdor still lives, so it comes as a complete surprise to Macbeth.

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