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Macbeth by William Shakespeare: The Final Scene of Act One

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To begin the final scene of act one, Macbeth’s soliloquy shows his confusion and indecisiveness. He starts off by saying “If it were done when ‘tis done” (I.7.1). Shakespeare uses various literary techniques to express the ideas rushing through Macbeth’s mind prior to the murder of Duncan in his home. Macbeth has been told prophecies of his future predicting him as king of Scotland and take Duncan’s place. Macbeth, with the help of his wife, sees this task only accomplishable by murdering the king. This soliloquy is a crucial turning point in Macbeth’s decision to totally change the dynamic of the play.
The soliloquy opens with Macbeth’s ideas on how he would hope the murder to be. “If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well / It were done quickly” (I.7.1-2). These two lines show how indecisive Macbeth is about committing the crime. He is saying that if the murder be done, it should be done fast. The “if” shows that Macbeth is unsure that he wants to follow through with the initial plan. Going back to the first line of his soliloquy, Shakespeare shows that Macbeth wishes to get it over and done with. The first literary term that is used is a metaphor, “If the assassination / Could trammel up the consequence, and catch / With his surcease success; that but this blow / Might be the be-all and the end-all here, / But here, upon this bank and shoal of time, / We'd jump the life to come.” (I.7.2-7). Shakespeare uses a metaphor to compare the murder as something that could be caught and would not yield any consequences. Shakespeare also shows that Macbeth knows there will be consequences to the murder and that the thought that everything will be okay is not very logical. This again shows Macbeth’s strange nature to still go on w...

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... imagery to describe the mood of the people after the death. Everyone will be saddened and confused, looking for answers on how their King died.
In the last lines of the soliloquy, Macbeth gives the sole reason he has for the murder, “I have no spur / To prick the sides of my intent, but only / Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself / And falls on th' other.” (I.7.25-28). Macbeth says that he has absolutely no reason to kill Duncan, except for his ambition. Shakespeare then personifies his ambition as overleaping which falls over itself. This also foreshadows Macbeth’s death. The mood of Macbeth after his soliloquy is that he does not want to kill Duncan, but with the persuasion of his wife, he changes his mind again and goes through with the murder. After all, Macbeth foreshadowed his downfall in his soliloquy, which proved to be his turning point in the play.
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