What are some literary devices found in Macbeth, Act 3 (scene 4)?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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William Shakespeare's Macbeth is filled with examples of literary devices. Specifically looking at Act III, scene iv, here are the literary devices which appear.

Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of a consonant sound within a line of poetry. An example of alliteration is found in line 5.

And play the humble host.

Here, the repetition of the "h" sound in "humble" and "host" is defined as alliteration. Another example is found in line 7.

And we will require her welcome.

This time, the "w" sound in "we," "will," and "welcome" is repeated.

Personification: Personification is the giving of human characteristics to non-living/non-human things. An example of personification is found in line nine.

For my heart speaks they are welcome.

Here, Lady Macbeth's statement gives her heart the ability to speak.

Metaphor: A metaphor is a comparison between two things (not using "like" or "as", as with a simile, to make the comparison). An example of a metaphor is found in lines 23 and 24.

Then comes my fit again: I had else been perfect,
Whole as the marble, founded as the rock.

Here, Macbeth compares his prior state of existence to that of a rock. This defines him as being a person who used to be strong.

Later in the act, line 32, another metaphor is found.

There the grown serpent lies; the worm that's fled.

Here, Macbeth compares Banquo to a snake and Banquo's son, Fleance, to a worm.


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