Essay about Analysing Soliloquy 1.7 Macbeth

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How does the 1.7 Soliloquy deepen the audience’s understanding of Macbeth’s conflicted state of mind?

POINT: Contrast of heaven and hell imagery
EVIDENCE: “his virtues Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued against the deep damnation of his taking-off”.
EXPLANATION: Macbeth prefigures the spirit of Duncan to be associated with heaven, and his own actions (‘taking him off’) representative of the Devil, suggesting the unnaturalness of the action and the evil of Macbeth’s character.
ANALYSIS/ IMPLICATIONS: Alliteration reinforces the contrast that emphasises Macbeth’s deviant choice. Duncan’s purity is accentuated through a religious simile: these angels are ‘trumpet-tongued’, the alliteration reflecting the strength of Duncan’s
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The euphemisms also imply that Macbeth does not understand all of the repercussions of his actions, although he does understand that his plan may backfire. He says: “Bloody instruction…being taught, return To plague the inventor” which shows that he has shown others to kill the king, so they may do the same to him and he may be punished in the afterlife as well. This passage also references the Bible: “for what so ever a man soeth, that shall he also reap”, “they that plough iniquity and sow wickedness, reap the same” and “wherewith a man sinneth, by the same also shall he be punished.”. He also refers to the justice as ‘even-handed’, which must be justice done by God. This shows that he is thinking that as he has defied the Divine Order and acted as an example to others, he will be punished in the same way.

POINT: Contrast of life and the afterlife
EVIDENCE: “the end-all – here, But here, upon this bank and shoal of time, We’d jump the life to come.” Semantic field of river: “bank”, “shoal”, “trammel up”, “catch”,
EXPLANATION: The semantic field about a river may imply that the river Macbeth is in is his life, and this ‘bank’ may be a period of judgement of whether he enters heaven or hell, and God is testing him. He may also be on a bank, which reflects his conflicted state of mind, unsure whether to