What are a couple of examples of language features shown in Act V, scene VIII of "Macbeth", and how are they effective or dramatic?

Expert Answers
robertwilliam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have no words:
My voice is in my sword

Thus speaks Macduff: and I actually think he might speak for the language features of the first part of the scene. Alarums (usually military trumpet calls) sound and there are several fights - and Macbeth and Macbeth both speak in clipped, harsh sentences. There are lots of half verse lines (when the five feet of the pentameter line are not completely used e.g. 'unTIMEly RIPP'D', which is only two out of five iambs) and lots of monosyllables (look at the quote I've put above!). It's a dramatic, brutal, steel-edged end for Macbeth, and the soundscape is metal on metal, rather than voice against voice (try, for example, counting the harsh 'b' sounds from lines 34-7).

And of course, in the second half of the scene, you have to compare the animalistic, instinctive barkings of Macbeth against the smoothness and formality of Malcolm as he ascends the Scottish throne:

We shall not spend a large expense of time
Before we reckon with your several loves,
And make us even with you.

Look at the soft 'l' sounds ('shall' / 'large' / 'love') and the seductive 'v' ('loves' / 'even') which entirely change the aural mood of the scene, and might even lead you to a few interpretative decisions about what sort of a king King Malcolm is going to be!