What is a monologue in Macbeth?

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

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Macbeth contains several monologues throughout the five acts of the play.  The first significant monologue by Macbeth occurs in Act One, scene seven and begins with "If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well" (1).  Macbeth begins his lengthy speech inside the castle, as he debates the possibility of murdering King Duncan. 

This soliloquy is an important moment in Act One, because it reveals Macbeth's inner turmoil and indecision; he knows that the assassination would be a simple matter if he could only be sure that the act would not result in a chain of terrible consequences. In the end of the soliloquy, Macbeth concludes that his biggest motive for the murder would be his own ambition. 


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