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Macbeth – Soliloquies

22 | P a g e Essay Three : Macbeth – Soliloquies Length : 6 – 8 pages Due Date : Check Insight Task : Choose two to four of the soliloquies below and write an essay that (a) provides an explicati on of the soliloquies and (b) explores how each one fits, thematically, into the play. To aid you in this process and to demonstrate your ability to incorporate outside crit ical sources, you must also use the three outside sources provided on Insight. (You might think about this task in the following way: each one of these soliloquies could be read as an individual poem. In this light, one can see this as an assignment tha t asks you to explicate t wo to four poems in the context of a larger play.) Audience : Your audience is very familiar with the play, so you do not need to be concerned with issues of plot ( i.e., do not recount the plot). Your task is to break down the la nguage of what either Macbeth or Lady Macbeth are actually saying and how it fits thematically with the rest of the play. You need to explicate the language of all the lines of each soliloquy. The critical sources will help you to support your ideas and / or provide a rhetorical strategy for introducing analysis, points, and observations. DO NOT USE “ I ” OR “ YOU ” FOR THIS ESSAY. To Prepare: To help you better prepare for the essay, I want you, before you begin, to print out copies of the soliloquies you are w riting about and then, in the margins, summarize, word for word, what the character is describing/discussing. I’d also like you to write down your initial reflections and analyses about what you might infer from the language of the soliloquies. You must t urn this in or I will reduce your essay grade by 5 points. Please arrange the various documents in the following order — from first to last: (1) The grading rubric ( 2) Your process letter (3) Your final draft ( 3) soliloquies with your notes (4) Uplo ad a COPY of your final draft to Insight. In text Citations : For each line or lines that you quote use the following format — Act.scene.line number(s) — choose one or the other, do not go back and forth between them. – 28 or 5.6.17 – 28 Choose from t he F ollowing Six S oliloquies Soliloquy 1 (I.v.11 – 25 – page 37 in the book) Lady Macbeth Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness To catch the nearest w ay: thou wouldst be great, Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly, That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false, And yet wouldst wrongly win. Thou’ld’st have, great Glamis, That which cries, “Thus t hou must do,” if thou have it, And that which rather thou dost fear to do, Than wishest should be undone. Hie thee hither, That I may pour my spirits in thine ear And chastise with the valor of my tongue All that impedes thee from the golden round, Which f ate and metaphysical aid doth seem To have thee crowned withal. 23 | P a g e Soliloquy 2 (I.v.34 – 49 – pgs. 37 – 38 in the book) Lady Macbeth The raven himself is hoarse That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan Under my battlements. Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top – full Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood. Stop up the access and passage to remorse, That no compunctious visitings of nature Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between The effect an d it! Come to my woman’s breasts, And take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers, Wherever in your sightless substances You wait on nature’s mischief. Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound i t makes, Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark To cry “Hold, hold!” Soliloquy 3 (I.vii.1 – 28 – pgs. 40 – 41 in the book Macbeth If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well It were done quickly. If the assassination Could trammel up the conseq uence, and catch With his surcease success; that but this blow Might be the be – all and the end – all here, But here, upon this bank and shoal of time, We’d jump the life to come. But in these cases We still have judgment here, that we but teach Bloody instru ctions, which, being taught, return To plague th’ inventor: this even – handed justice Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice To our own lips. He’s here in double trust: First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, Strong both against the deed; then , as his host, Who should against his murderer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been So clear in his great office, that his virtues Will plead like angels, trumpet – tongued, against The de ep damnation of his taking – off; And pity, like a naked newborn babe, Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubim, horsed Upon the sightless couriers of the air, Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye, That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself And falls on th’ other. 24 | P a g e Soliloquy 4 ( II.i .32 – 65 – pgs. 45 – 46 in the book) Macbeth Is this a dagger which I see before me, The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. I hav e thee not, and yet I see thee still. Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but A dagger of the mind, a false creation, Proceeding from the heat – oppressèd brain? I see thee yet, in form as palpable As this which now I dra w. Thou marshall’st me the way that I was going, And such an instrument I was to use. Mine eyes are made the fools o’ th’ other senses, Or else worth all the rest. I see thee still, And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood, Which was not so before. Ther e’s no such thing. It is the bloody business which informs Thus to mine eyes. Now o’er the one half – world Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse The curtained sleep. Witchcraft celebrates Pale Hecate’s offerings, and withered murder, Alarumed by his se ntinel, the wolf, Whose howl’s his watch, thus with his stealthy pace, With Tarquin’s ravishing strides, towards his design Moves like a ghost. Thou sure and firm – set earth, Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear Thy very stones prate of my where about, And take the present horror from the time, Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives. Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives. I go, and it is done. The bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell That summons thee to h eaven or to hell. 25 | P a g e Soliloquy 5 (III.i.49 – 73 – pgs. 59 – 60 in the book) Macbeth To be thus is nothing, But to be safely thus. Our fears in Banquo Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature Reigns that which would be feared. ‘Tis much he dares, And to that dau ntless temper of his mind He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valor To act in safety. There is none but he Whose being I do fear, and under him My genius is rebuked, as it is said Mark Antony’s was by Caesar. He chid the sisters When first they put the na me of king upon me And bade them speak to him. Then, prophetlike, They hailed him father to a line of kings. Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown And put a barren scepter in my grip, Thence to be wrenched with an unlineal hand, No son of mine succeed ing. If ’t be so, For Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind; For them the gracious Duncan have I murdered; Put rancors in the vessel of my peace Only for them; and mine eternal jewel Given to the common enemy of man, To make them kings, the seed of Banquo ki ngs! Rather than so, come fate into the list. Soliloquy 6 ( – 28 – p. 104 in the book) Macbeth She should have died hereafter; There would have been a time for such a word. To – morrow, and to – morrow, and to – morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from da y to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: i t is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury