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Figurative language in Shakespeare Ever notice in movies how the villain or villainess always seems to have a black cloud looming over them or lighting striking the ground beside them? The same strange happenings where used in the story Macbeth to reveal character. Shakespeare uses figurative language to tie Macbeth’s bad choices and others around him to nature and to illustrate nature’s efforts to expose Macbeth and bring Scotland back to balance. The figurative language that he uses is to explore human nature and show its connections with the natural world and the supernatural.

Through the use of figurative language, Shakespeare ties actions and events to nature. After Banquo and Macbeth encounter the witches and hear what they have to say, the witches vanish into thin air. Unsettled Banquo ponders “The earth hath bubbles as the water has, and these are of them: whither have they vanished? ” (1. 3. 82-83). this simile tells the reader that Banquo is wary of the witches. “The earth hath bubbles, as the water has, and these are of them” explains Banquo thinks they are as strange as the bubbles of water.

It shows that he is not as easily swayed by their news as Macbeth is and does not think Macbeth should take their news seriously. Duncan unlike Banquo is not keeping an eye on Macbeth but is instead rewarding him for is valiant acts of bravery. “I have begun to plant thee and will labour to make thee full of growing” (1. 4. 32-33). This quote is a metaphor that tells the reader that Duncan fully trusts Macbeth and is completely naive to his dark true character. “I have begun to plant thee…full of growing” Duncan says that he will look for more ways to honour Macbeth.

The metaphor uses the fertility of nature as a comparison. Duncan is easily fooled by Macbeth’s act. Banquo uses the example of bubbles in water to explain the strangeness of the witches and Duncan uses the example of a tree to explain his gratitude and dedication to Macbeth. Shakespeare uses comparisons to nature because nature was thought to reveal not only character but also intentions. When someone used nature as a positive way to describe you it was as if god was on your side and when you messed with nature you pay.

To illustrate natures efforts to expose Macbeth and bring the world back to balance Shakespeare used figurative language. Ross tells the old man of the unnatural events that occurred on the night of Duncan’s murder: And Duncan’s horses— a thing most strange and certain— Beauteous and swift, the minions of their race, Turn’d wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out, Contending ‘gainst obedience, as they would make War with mankind (2. 4. 16-21). It is almost as if the horses could sense that Duncan was in danger they were at unease. Turn’d wild in nature, broke their stalls flung out contending ‘gainst obedience as they would make war with mankind” They believed nature could sense when there was an imbalance in the world and the horses seemed to animate the chaos that was coming. Just as strange, Banquo’s ghost appears directly after his death causing Macbeth to ponder: Stones have been known to move, and trees to speak; Augures and understood relations have By maggot-pies and choughs and rooks brought forth The secret’st man of blood (3. 4. 152-155) This quotation is using personification to describe what Macbeth is feeling. By maggot-pies and choughs and rooks brought forth the secret’st man of blood” explains that Macbeth believes that the elements of nature will somehow expose even the most secretive of murders. Duncan horses seemed to be trying to expose the horrible deeds being done by Macbeth just as later on Macbeth realizes that although he might not tell any one of his acts nature will work against him to expose his acts. This reveals that even to the most carless of people nature still held sacredness and was considered very important to have the ability to know everything going on.

To reveal human nature and connect it to the natural world Shakespeare uses figurative language. It is used to express their feelings because nature revealed important things to them and to illustrate the efforts by nature to bring back the balance and right the chaos. The same tactics are still being used now in society, implying that even now nature still holds the same sacredness that it did when Shakespeare wrote Macbeth. The figurative language used is important because it connects the two together. Work Cited Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Ed. Ken. Roy. Toronto: Harcourt Canada Ltd. , 2001. Print

Film Comment on: The Shock Doctrine (UK, 2009)

Film Comment on: The Shock Doctrine (UK, 2009).

The Film Comment should have three components: – What you consider most striking in the film and why – How the film connects with the class material on political economy – A question that could be pursued in class discussion The film is available at

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