Examine the ways in which Shakespeare uses language in Macbeth to create characters, atmosphere and horror.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Shakespeare's Macbeth, we find that the author masterfully uses the language to bring the audience into the world he creates with words: specifically imagery. Among the other things Shakespeare's imagery creates are the play's realistic characters, the atmosphere (or mood) and a sense of horror.

Imagery is used early on as the Sergeant describes the valiant way Macbeth (and Banquo) performs on the field of battle in the war between Norway and Scotland. In this case, the descriptions present the admirable qualities Macbeth displays before he decides to kill Duncan, the King. In this passage, Macbeth is described as a man who is not worried for his safety, but "hacks" his way through the battle raging around him until he comes face to face with Macdonwald, a Scottish traitor. Without hesitation, he cuts him open and kills him, and then puts the corpse's head on the castle's battlements.

For brave Macbeth—well he deserves that name—

Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,

Which smoked...

(The entire section contains 604 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team