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Sophia Grzywacz

Mrs. Davenport

English 9H/P6

2 March 2017

Lady Macbeth Uses Literary Devices to Gain Control

Shakespeare was a man of many talents. He wrote plays that appealed to everyone

in his audiences and it was done by using many literary terms. They were used to

describe the plot and different characteristics of each character. A wonderful example is

Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is a perfect example for all the literary terms used when

she and her husband is plotting to murder the King.

One of the devices used is dramatic irony. Dramatic Irony is when the characters

dont know what is happening, but the audience does. This is used when Lady Macbeth

counters Macbeth response with We fail?(1.7.67). Little did they know that they do fail.

Macbeth ends up going insane and dies at the end of the play. They dont get away with

murdering Duncan; they are caught red handed. The audience knew that nothing would

go well, but the characters didnt; and this adds suspense and comedy to the play.

Pathos, a term that evokes sadness or pity, is also used in Macbeth. This is used to

evoke sadness in the audience. Macbeth isnt very kind to her husband, she pushes him to

do things that she will highly be able to benefit from. She calls him a coward. Which

thou esteemst the ornament of life, And live a coward in thine own esteem(1.7.46). That

is a terrible thing for a husband to hear from his wife. However it makes Macbeth want to

prove he is not a coward and follow through with this scheme of theirs. The cruel

statement makes the audience sad to think about the relationship these two shared, a one-
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sided-love marriage. This makes the audience pity Macbeth and what he has to put up


Another literary term is a Simile. Shakespeare loves to compare things of different

backgrounds to each other. One of the many similes explains what Lady Macbeth thinks

of herself. Like the poor cat i the adage?(1.7.47). Lady Macbeth is comparing

Macbeth to a cat and calling herself and adage. An adage means the truth. She says this

because she is trying to indicate her advantageous level that she holds over him. This is

used to show power and control.

Will plead like angels, trumpet-toungd, against / The deep damnation of

his taking-off. / And pity, like a naked new-born babe, / Striding the blast,

or heavens cherubin, horsd / Upon the sightless couriers of the ar, / Shall

blow the horrid deed in every eye,(1.7.19-24)

This is another example of a simile used my Macbeth thinking about Lady Macbeths

idea to kill Duncan. He is stating the stress he has for it and says he is contemplating

following through with the plan. However, she is able to twist these doubts and make him

follow through with the murder. Lady Macbeth is a ruthless, power thirsty woman who is

using her husband to gain an advantage for her.

Shakespeare is an amazing author who uses many resources of language to tell his

stories. Most of these can be shown by Lady Macbeth and her ambition for the crown.

SHe is willing to degrade her husband and use him for something that she plans to take

full control over. Many examples are when she uses Dramatic Irony, Pathos, SImiles, and

so many more literary terms to persuade her husband into her murderous plan. She is very

clever and cunning, and will not let even guilt get in her way.
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