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Where in Act II of Macbeth is personification used?

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claytonrussell | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 5, 2013 at 8:00 AM via iOS

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Where in Act II of Macbeth is personification used?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 5, 2013 at 2:14 PM (Answer #1)

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Figurative language is rich and full in Macbeth. The use of simile, metaphor and other devices, inclusing personification, add deep dimensions to the plot and the drama is intensified.

Personification is indicated when human qualities are attributed to inanimate objects, animals or even an idea. Apostrophe- where objects are actually addressed directly- and which is widely used in Macbeth, is a form of personification and often referred to as personification:

"Is this a dagger ...? Come, let me clutch thee! I have thee not, and yet I see thee still." (Apostrophe)

In Act II, i Banquo and Fleance cannot sleep. Banquo refers to the moon as "she"  obvioulsy using personification. He then goes on to mention the "husbandry in heaven" as apparently, ""heaven" is economizing - in other words, it's a dark night; somewhat foreshadowing what is to follow.

After murdering Duncan, Macbeth, in Act II.ii. 37, personifies sleep in a famous quote before he is fully committed to his murderous activities and is haunted by his actions:

"Macbeth does murder sleep" and  "that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care."

Macbeth is keen to set up Duncan's own sons for his murder and in Act II, iii.120, Donalbaine realizes that he may appear guilty:

"Where our fate, hidden in an auger hole, / May rush and seize us."

Personification then intensifies the plot in Act II.

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