Macbeth - Shakespeare's Use Of Language To Suggest Ideas About Good And Evil - Student Submitted

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In the following extract from Act 4 Scene 3, Macduff has just been told of the murder of his wife and children.

How does Shakespeare use language to suggest ideas about good and evil in this extract?

MALCOLM Dispute it like a man.

MACDUFF I shall do so;

But I must also feel it as a man;
I cannot but remember such things were
That were most precious to me. Did heaven look on, And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff,
They were all struck for thee. Naught that I am,
Not for their own demerits but for mine,
Fell slaughter on their souls. Heaven rest them now.

MALCOLM Be this the whetstone of your sword, let grief Convert to anger. Blunt not the heart, enrage it.

MACDUFF O, I could play the woman with mine eyes
And braggart with my tongue. But, gentle heavens, Cut short all intermission. Front to front
Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself; Within my sword's length set him. If he scape, Heaven forgive him too.

MALCOLM This tune goes manly. Come, go we to the king; our power is ready; Our lack is nothing but our leave. Macbeth
Is ripe for shaking, and the powers above

Put on their instruments. Receive what cheer you may: The night is long that never finds the day.


Shakespeare’s use of language in this extract does suggest ideas about good and evil, The first line, spoken by Malcolm, is in itself confrontational. He requests MacDuff to ‘Dispute it like a man.’ Although this does not have ...

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