What is the dramatic significance of the soliloquies in Macbeth?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have three soliloquies between them before the murder of Duncan. The dramatic purpose of these is twofold: first, it lets the audience know the main characters' thoughts in the pivotal and suspenseful time before the murder of a monarch. Second, the soliloquies build up a mood and atmosphere of chilly and relentless terror, depicting a world taken over by the dark side.

In act I, scene v, Lady Macbeth receives the letter from her husband telling her the witches ' prophecies. She is as ambitious as Macbeth is and wants the crown as much as he does but fears he will be too virtuous...

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jayanthy | Student

The soliloquies help in plot development,reveal character.They are the windows through which we get a glimpse of the character's inner conflict like that of Macbeth.The soliloquy in Act 1 scene vii reveals macbeth's ambition to become king, his desire to murder Duncan although his conscience pricks him that he has decided take his dagger against his own master.Later when he sees hallucination before the murder is due to the conscientious soul. When he pepares to murder Banquo because of insecurity his fear and insecurity is revealed and he spends sleepless nights.THese soliloquies not only help us to understand the character and know their inner struglle but also reveal their frustrations. They are also means of self revelation to the characters themselves.

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