Metaphor in Act Five Scene Two of Macbeth

An explanation of Shakespeare’s use of metaphors.

In Act 5 scene 2 of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, metaphor is used many times.  As the armies gather to rally against Macbeth, Angus says to Menteith, “ Those he commands move only in command,    Nothing in love: now does he feel his title / Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe /  Upon a dwarfish thief.”  By saying this, he tells the audience and the reader that nobody trusts Macbeth anymore.  Although Macbeth is still technically in control of the armies, they no longer trust him. Now, Macbeth feels the impact of what he has done. Shakespeare revisits the “borrowed robes” motif and compares Macbeth’s title to a robe that no longer fits. The robe does not fit because it was stolen from King Duncan, whom Macbeth murdered for the title.

Another metaphor used was “To give obedience where ’tis truly owed: /Meet we the medicine of the sickly weal, /And with him pour we in our country’s purge /Each drop of us.” This quote, spoken by Caithness compares Scotland to an ailing patient. Malcolm is the doctor that can cure its sickness.  The people of Scotland are willing to pour out all of their blood in order to end Macbeth’s rule.

Image via Wikipedia

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