In Act II of Shakespeare's Macbeth, what are some examples of a motif, blank verse, couplet, and simile?  Please indicate the speakers of the lines.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are two motifs that are expressed in Act II of "Macbeth": that of treachery and that of guilt.  In Scene 1, for instance, when Duncan does not recognize Macbeth in the dark, Banquo asks, "Who's there?" and Macbeth replies, "A friend."  However, in the next act, Macbeth proves treacherous--hardly a friend.  As part of the motif of guilt, while Lady Macbeth awaits the return of Macbeth from his murderous act against King Duncan, she is startled by the screeching of an owl, "the fatal bellman," for she suffers from having a guilty conscience.

Macbeth's soliloquy in this act contains blank verse, unrhymed iambic pentameter. (5 sets of one unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable:  u /   u/   u/   u/   u/)  One example is in line 35:  "I have thee not, and yet I see thee still."  Also, lines 63-66:

I go, and it is done:  the bell invites me./Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell/That summons thee to heaven, or to hell. (II,ii,63-66)

These last two lines of the soliloquy (65,66) are a couplet.

Also, in the soliloquy there is a simile:

I see thee yet [the dagger], in form as palpable/As this which now I draw. (II,ii,40-41)

Using the word as, the dagger that Macbeth envisions is as real to him as the one in his hand.  The stated comparison is made between the imaginary dagger and the real one.