What are some examples of metaphors and similes in Macbeth?

Some examples of metaphors and similes in Macbeth are Macbeth's statements that fortune "Show'd like a rebel's whore," that "All is but toys," and that "Life's but a walking shadow."

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Similes and metaphors are pieces of figurative language that help the reader make connections. Both compare two unlike things in order to help the reader make meaning, but one uses "like" or "as" in its comparison (simile), and one does not (metaphor). Macbeth, and Shakespeare in general, is full of similes and metaphors that assist the reader in really understanding to what degree a description is.  I'll start with some examples of metaphors:

"There's nothing serious in mortality. All is but toys." - Macbeth (II. Sc. iii)

Here, Macbeth is comparing life and its activities to toys, or trivial matters. This is after he's killed Duncan and also functions as a bit of dramatic irony, as no other characters know that he's killed the king. It helps us understand that Macbeth feels powerless now, after this terrible sin he's committed. 

Later in this speech, he says, "The wine of life is drawn and the mere lees is left this vault to brag of."  (II. Sc. iii) Here, he's comparing life to a bottle of...

(The entire section contains 6 answers and 2318 words.)

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