What literary devices are used in the following passage from "Macbeth"? LADY MACBETH    Out, damned spot! out, I say!--One: two: why,    then, 'tis time to do't.--Hell is murky!--Fie,...

What literary devices are used in the following passage from "Macbeth"?

LADY MACBETH
    Out, damned spot! out, I say!--One: two: why,
    then, 'tis time to do't.--Hell is murky!--Fie, my
    lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we
    fear who knows it, when none can call our power to
    account?--Yet who would have thought the old man
    to have had so much blood in him.

Doctor
    Do you mark that?

LADY MACBETH
    The thane of Fife had a wife: where is she now?--
    What, will these hands ne'er be clean?--No more o'
    that, my lord, no more o' that: you mar all with
    this starting.

Doctor
    Go to, go to; you have known what you should not.

Gentlewoman
    She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of
    that: heaven knows what she has known.

LADY MACBETH
    Here's the smell of the blood still: all the
    perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little
    hand. Oh, oh, oh!

Asked on by pito156

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amy-lepore's profile pic

amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The use of the referral to Arabia is an allusion.  Everyone would know that wonderful perfumes and spices come from this area of the world and that further helps the audience to understand just how horrible her hands smelled to Lady Macbeth.

Dramatic Irony--the two are watching Lady Macbeth and gaining knowledge without her knowing they are there.  It is rather like in Romeo and Juliet when they are in the balcony scene and we know Romeo is listening in, but Juliet is quite unaware of his presence. 

Sources:
linda-allen's profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

In listing literary devices used in this excerpt from Macbeth, you first have to look for what Shakespeare is known for: iambic pentameter. here are a few more:

internal rhyme: the Thane of Fife had a wife

personification: Heaven knows what she has known

hyperbole: All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand

alliteration: She has spoke what she should not, I am sure of that.

imagery: dirty hands, smell of blood

symbolism: smell of blood symbolizes Duncan's murder

Hope this helps!

Sources:

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