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"brave Macbeth- well he deserves that name”, Valour’s minion " (captain)

"valiant cousin , worthy gentleman" , "noble Macbeth " (Duncan)

"Bellona bridegroom" (Ross)

In Act 1 scene 2 Macbeth is described through the use of positive epithets such as "brave Macbeth" and "valiant" which gives the audience a different narrative perspective and provides an alternative insight regarding Macbeth's character that harshly contrasts with the evil that he is associated with due to the witches in the scene before.

Through the use of the personification "Valour's minion" the captain implies that Macbeth is the living embodiment of bravery which further highlights Macbeth's heroism and gallantry. This is reinstated through "Bellona's bridegroom" which implies that not only is he brave but he is also superior to his opponents. However, it also foreshadows that he will be a barbaric tyrant since he isn't afraid of what is thrown his way. This links to Macbeth's character later on in the play because it shows that his audacity will cause him to oppress and exploit others whilst his determined nature will cause everyone around him to suffer.


"smoked with bloody execution" (1.2) (captain)

• verb "smoked", Shakespeare insinuates that Macbeth killed people so quickly , his sword has generated heat which establishes how skillful and efficient he is in battle which gives us a positive image of Macbeth as a hero.
• adjective "bloody" a gory and brutal tone is created which puts Macbeth in a negative light. This is reinforced through the noun "execution" further demonstrating Macbeth's savage behavior and gruesome nature


"unseasmed him from the nave to th'chaps" (1.2) (captain)

first conflicted characterization of Macbeth: a brave warrior, from his fellow soldiers' perspective, but also has extreme blood lust even for the battle standards of the time. The gruesome description is deliberately unsettling: Shakespeare introduces our "hero" as a blood-soaked killer.


"Yes, as sparrow eagles, or the hare, the lion" (captain) 1.2

Macbeth's reputation on the battlefield is enhanced by the similes of the Captain's second report: 'As sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion.' In this quote Macbeth and Banquo, are compared to 'eagles' and 'lions' unafraid of the timid Norwegians, who themselves are likened to 'sparrows' or 'a hare'. The fact that Banquo and Macbeth are compared to "eagles" and lions" suggests how brave and powerful they are. Moreover, symbolically, the lion appears on the royal coat of arms of the kings of Scotland this foreshadows Macbeth becoming king.


“Strange screams of death and prophesying with accents terrible of dire combustion” 2.3 (lennox)

• The verb “screams” creates a chaotic atmosphere and evokes a sense of fear which echoes the iniquitous actions of the previous scene and insinuates how the natural order has been disrupted. Through this quote, the universal chaos that has happened as a result of regicide which undermines the Great Chain of Being.


“There's daggers in men's smiles: the nearer in blood , the nearer bloody” (donaldbain) 2.3

• Daggers in men’s smiles” is also a continuation of the theme of deception


Old Man : “Threescore ten I can remember well…. But this sore night hath trifled former knowings” 2.4

• Emphasises how regicide has caused the unnatural to occur and also heightens the seriousness of the situation


First Murder: “ Twenty trenched gashes on his head; the least a death to nature.” 3.4

• The horror of Macbeth’s death is evident
• "trenched" dennotes to a long ditch which encapsulates how deep the "gashes" were which creates a gory and horrifc image. This is heightened by the quantity “twenty” which shows how Macbeth has become a cold and murderous monster


Ross: “Your wife and babes savagely slaughtered “ 4.3

• The emotive verb modified by an adverb renders the situation to be even more horrific
• The use of sibilance creates an image of a slashing sword which conveys how ruthless and brutal the murder was . This is heightened through the use of dysphemism further adding to the shock the audience feels despite already witnessing the murders in the scene before
• The image of “wife and children” creates a homely and loving image which harshly contrasts with the lurid image of blood and death, making Macbeth’s actions even more wicked and creates more sympathy for Macduff


“Unnatural deeds to breed unnatural troubles” 5.1 - Doctor

The belief in the natural order and the divine right of kings is emphasized here to serve as a moral story to the audience as to what would happen if they go against God or the King


“she is troubled with thick-coming fancies” 5.3 – Doctor (as a response to “Hows your patient”)

• The adjective “thick” suggests that these nightmares are taken over Lady Macbeth’s mind which shows elements of chaos and paranoia and also shows the mental torment that she is going through as a result of her evil action