An Examination of the Tomorrow Soliloquy
The classical tragedy Macbeth, written by the world renowned playwright William Shakespeare features many intriguing literary devices that blend together and co-exist to make the wonderful story that it is. One of the literary devices William Shakespeare employs is that of the soliloquy. A soliloquy, as defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary, Is, “a long, usually serious speech that a character in a play makes to an audience and that reveals the character’s thoughts.” There are many soliloquys in Macbeth, and these dramatic monologues represent unspoken reflections inside the character. The soliloquy that always weighs heaviest in the minds of the readers is the tomorrow soliloquy that Macbeth delivers in the fifth scene of the fifth act of Macbeth. The tomorrow soliloquy rises heads and shoulders above all other soliloquys to land prominent in the minds of readers, because it is the single most important soliloquy included in Macbeth. The tomorrow soliloquy is important to the overall scheme of the play because it shows the changing of Macbeth’s character in the way he interacts with his wife, the way he interacts with his friends, and the way that he now conducts himself.
The first way we see the overall effects of the play affect Macbeth in his tomorrow soliloquy actually comes in the lines just before we start the famous speech. In lines 17-18 of the fifth scene in the fifth act, Macbeth bitterly says, “She should have died hereafter. There would have been a time for such a word.” While some people have argued that these lines show remorse in Macbe...
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...is ready to accept whatever happens to him without a fight in the end. Macbeth goes from being a loyal subject and companion to a man who willingly betrays his friends to protect the false kingship he has won for himself. Lastly, we see the interactions between Macbeth and his wife change; in the beginning he would have done absolutely anything for Lady Macbeth and by the end of the play he cannot even bring himself to refer to her by name. As put by Sir Frank Kermode in Shakespeare’s Language, “For a moment, Macbeth is every man or woman, who must, in the course of his or her life, be faced by the need to decide which of two choices is the right one.” Macbeth has fully come to grips that he hasn’t made the right choices by the end of the tomorrow soliloquy and all of his actions and words reflect that there will never be another tomorrow for our ill-fated king.
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