Why is there a rhymed couplet at the end of most of the scenes in Macbeth? I know in poems this lets you know that a change of some sort is coming, is it the same type of thing? In act two what...

Why is there a rhymed couplet at the end of most of the scenes in Macbeth?

I know in poems this lets you know that a change of some sort is coming, is it the same type of thing?

In act two what would be an example of this?

Thanks so much for your help! =)

Asked on by ndkinney

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cybil | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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Shakespeare's theater had no curtains to close or lights to dim as most modern theaters do to indicate the end of a scene. His plays in the Globe were performed in daylight on a stage that jutted out into the audience.

He used rhyming couplets to signal the end of a scene, and his audiences were remarkably good listeners to hear the rhyme. The remainder of the play was typically written in blank verse, which is unrhymed; as a result, the rhyme would be more apparent. Even so, we have to admire the Elizabethans for their acute hearing and concentration.

At the end of Act 2, scene 3, Malcolm says to his brother:

But shift away: there's warrant in that theft
Which steals itself, when there's no mercy left.

Sources:

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