Macbeth Act I scene 7 : Explain how various literary devices are used in this scene.

Expert Answers info

Julianne Hansen, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Clemson University


calendarEducator since 2019

write1,457 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Hypophora is almost like a rhetorical question, except the speaker answers their own question, much like reasoning aloud. Lady Macbeth uses an example of this, beginning in line 66:

We fail?
But screw your courage to the sticking-place,
And we’ll not fail.

This serves to further characterize the passion and resolve of Lady Macbeth. When her husband's courage wavers in this scene, she becomes even more resolute, answering her own questions.

She also delivers one of the most brutal forms of imagery that a mother could imagine:

I have given suck, and know
How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me.
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums
And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this. (59–64)

Breastfeeding is one of the most universally nurturing images. Lady Macbeth takes this image of innocence and completely alters it, saying that she would rip her nipple from her baby's mouth and "[dash] its brains out" if she had promised to do...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 892 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write6,851 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2012

write2,471 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences







Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial