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Macbeth Commentary

  • Date Submitted: 04/25/2013 01:30 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.6 
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Macbeth Commentary
“Under him, my genius is rebuked.” In this passage Macbeth broods on his fears that Banquo’s descendants will become kings. Shakespeare explores Macbeth’s fear through Banquo’s depression and dominance.
The depression residing in Macbeth’s mind fuels his fear. As he talks about the things he has done to become king he says, “Only for them, and mine eternal jewel / Given to the common enemy of man…”(l. 70-71) By saying eternal jewel Shakespeare gives the image of an expensive jewel which will never die. Macbeth talks about the “common enemy of man”, possibly a metaphor for the devil. Putting this into context, “eternal” jewel is alluding to Macbeth’s immortal soul. Macbeth is submitting himself to eternal belligerency; he admits that his remaining life will consist of battle and anger. He explains his insecurities by saying, “…And put a barren sceptre in my gripe, / thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand…” (l. 63-64) Shakespeare uses “wrenched” as foreshadowing. It explains that his barren sceptre will be taken unwillingly and aggressively. “Unlineal” shows lack of parallelism; Macbeth’s bloodline will not stay on the throne. His uncertainty transfers into depression; lack of knowledge about what is going to happen conveys fear.
Banquo shows his dominance through Macbeth’s words frequently in this soliloquy. As Macbeth talks about his most feared enemy, he says, “Our fears in Banquo / Stick deep, and his royalty of nature / Reigns that which would be feared.”(l. 51-53) Shakespeare uses “stick deep” to emphasize Macbeth’s fears of Banquo. It gives the image of Banquo’s presence deep in Macbeth’s soul; it summarizes Macbeth’s distress towards Banquo. The way Macbeth praises Banquo makes him seem so much higher on the food chain. Macbeth continues to assert Banquo’s braveness, “’Tis much he dares / And to that dauntless temper of his mind / He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour / To act in safety.”(l. 53-56) The bard uses “dauntless...


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