In Macbeth act 1, scene 5, explain how various literary devices are used in this scene.

Expert Answers

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

The literary devices that William Shakespeare uses in Macbeth act 1, scene 5, include metaphor, alliteration, and apostrophe. The combination of parallel structure and several types of repetition is also effectively deployed.

Metaphor is direct comparison of two apparently unlike things for effect. Lady Macbeth addresses her husband in absentia, describing his nature using a metaphor equating kindness with milk: "It is too full o' the milk of human kindness."

Alliteration, the repetition of initial consonant sounds, appears in numerous places: "you murdering ministers, / Wherever in your sightless substances."

When she summons up her courage and resolution to act boldly, she does so using by calling upon the spirits and to the night using apostrophe—direct address to a person, thing, or concept—"Come, you spirits/ That tend on mortal thoughts. . . . Come, thick night."

Parallel structure is the use of the same syntax or grammatical construction. Repetition of the same word, one type of which is

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 750 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