Power of Simile

6 June 2017

The Power of Simile Throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare seems to choose his words with care. Although written in a formal style, the author fabricated a colorful play with the use of metaphors, imagery, and iambic pentameter by cautiously placing the words in order to fulfill a certain rhythm; however, Shakespeare exhibits a somewhat distinct use of simile throughout Macbeth (Hudson). As stated by the Oxford Dictionary, a simile is a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind. In order words, a simile is the comparison of two or more unlike things Hudson).

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The author exercises simile by conveying a concept to the reader and portraying a picture to be more emphatic or vivid than it is especially in the following scenes: when he describes the battle between Norway and Scotland, when he describes the fervor with which Macbeth and Banquo fght in the beginning of the tale, and when he describes the murderers that he hires to eliminate Banquo (Hudson). Shakespeare conveys the concept of the battle between Norway and Scotland by using simile. “Doubtful it stood, as two spent swimmers that do cling together and choke their art” (l. ii. 7).

Here, the Captain tells King Duncan that the armies were like two effete swimmers clutching each other for their lives. At the commencement of the play, Shakespeare seems to use a significant amount of similes in order to make the reader visualize the battle. The author attempts to relate similar ideas that may be known to the reader in order to explain the occurring event. Shakespeare depicts the force Macbeth and Banquo used to fight the counterattack of the Norwegian King vividly by using simile. “… They were as cannons overcharged with double cracks, so they doubled strokes upon the foe” (1. . 35).

Here, the Captain tells King Duncan that Macbeth and Banquo fought Norway with double force. The Captain then compares Macbeth and Banquo to cannons with double ammunition. Shakespeare also seems to use imagery, but in an emphatic way. The author shows emphasis by describing Macbeth and Banquo as if they were cannons; he compels the reader to understand the degree of intensity at the time of the battle. The use of the simile also portrays the Captain to be passionate about the battle. Shakespeare showcases a unique use of simile that is not exercised by many oets; he periodically builds a simile on the same plan (Hudson). … As hounds and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs, Shoughs, water-rugs and demi-wolves, are clept0 All by the name of dogs. The valued file Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle, The housekeeper, the hunter, every one According to the gift which bounteous nature0 Hath in him closed; whereby he does receive, Particular addition from the bill That writes them all alike. And so of men. Not i’ the worst rank of manhood, say ‘t, And I will put that business in your bosoms, Whose execution takes your enemy off,

Grapples you to the heart and love of us, Who wear our health but sickly in his life, Which in his death were perfect” (111. 1. 92-108). Here, the author starts with Macbeth calling the murderers part of the species called men, therefore saying that the murderers can act on revenge. He then elucidates his statement further by giving a comparison to dogs; that Just like men, dogs have their own species, for example, mongrels and spaniels. Shakespeare then builds on the simile by writing a couple of lines that expanded the simile but also linked the simile to the first statement.

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