Macbeth speaks this soliloquy when he discovers, with the armies of Malcolm approaching his castle, that his wife has died. This soliloquy is among the bleakest in all of Shakespeare's tragedies, with the net effect being to stress how the title character is overcome with an almost existential sense of resignation to the meaninglessness of life.
One literary device that helps create this sense is repetition, which Macbeth uses to essentially reduce life to a series of meaningless days: "tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow." All of his days have led him to this point, and with his wife dead, he observes that all of his exploits and his treachery were really for nothing—an insight that seems to apply to life itself.
Another literary device in this speech is alliteration, which is repeated twice, when Macbeth describes the "petty pace" of a life which seems to exist only to end in "dusty death." The use of alliteration seems to accentuate the absurdity of it all, a theme underscored by the
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