Importance of Soliloquies in Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Importance of Soliloquies in Shakespeare's Macbeth

Soliloquies in Macbeth

What is the importance of soliloquies in Macbeth?

Soliloquy is a literary device
used in drama when a character wants to speak to him or herself. The main
purpose of soliloquies is
to express the
feelings, inner thoughts, personality and mind set of the characters
William Shakespeare, the popular Elizabethan dramatist shows his excellence in
using soliloquies in dramas. One of his major tragedies
Macbeth is the
best example for using effective soliloquies. Shakespeare uses the literary
device soliloquy as a tool to exhibit the hero and heroine’s mental state to
the audience. There is also a little confusion between a soliloquy and a
among the readers. Soliloquy is different from a monologue. A
monologue is a speech given by a character in the presence of other characters,
whereas, the soliloquy is a speech made by a character in 

the absence of other characters.

Also Read:

👉Macbeth as a Morality Play

👉Explained Tomorrow
and Tomorrow and Tomorrow Soliloquy

👉Significance of Porter Scene

👉Macbeth as a Tragedy

👉Character of Macbeth

👉Character sketch of Banquo

👉Imageries and Symbols in
Shakespeare’s Macbeth

👉Character of Lady Macbeth

👉Macbeth Book Review, Synopsis

👉Character Analysis of Macduff

Soliloquies are the heart and
soul of Macbeth
soliloquies of Macbeth
are more like interior debates, a fascinating aspect of
Macbeth’s motivation. In the very first soliloquy of Macbeth we find him
contemplating over the murder of King Duncan and its possible consequences:

it is done, then ‘twere well

          It were done quickly: If th’ assassination

          Could trammel up the consequenees, and catch

          With his surcease success……..”

                                                          (Act- I, Scene-VII)

The human psyche is always like a
butterfly. It will create more impact on others. In the same way, Lady Macbeth’s
poisonous words after reading the letter from Macbeth make a great impact on
the play.

“Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt

What thou art promised: yet do I fear
thy nature;

It is too full o’ the milk of human

To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst
be great;

Art not without ambition, but without

The illness should attend it,….” 

Act-I, Scene-V)

Even she knows her husband’s
desire on the crown. But he does not want it in

an evil way. Through this
soliloquy, the audience comes to know how ruthless and

strong lady she is.

“Come, you spirits

That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me

And fill me from the crown to the toe

Of direst cruelty! make thick my blood;

…Come to my woman’s breasts,

And take my milk for gall, you murdering

  ( Act-I, Scene-V)

She called the supernatural
to unsex her. She is ready to lose her feminine identity to achieve her
Fed up with ambition and
poisonous words of his wife Macbeth is ready to do the deadly deed with full of

“Is this a dagger which I see before me,

The handle toward my hand?”
(Act-II, Scene-I)

Ridden in guilt, Macbeth’s
conjures up an impalpable image of a bloody dagger which directs
him to Duncan’s sleeping chamber.

However, Lady Macbeth thinks
a little water will solve their immediate problem; Macbeth knows that is never
too easy to erase the blood spot (act of criminality). He says in a superb

all great Neptunes ocean wash this blood

          Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather

          The multitudinous seas incarnadine

          Making the green one red”.

(Act-II, Scene-I)

after killing Duncan Macbeth continues to clear his way in the frantic desire
for peace of mind enroute evils. Like a true philosopher he now comprehends his
present state. Macbeth spinning his dehumanization utters the most poignant

have lived long enough. My way of life

          Is fall’n into the sere, the yellow leaf…”

(Act-V, Scene-III)

After hearing the news of his wife’s
death, he responds in low key and bitter. In one of the overly greatest
speeches in all of Shakespeare, he accepts the news with a horrifying calm:

should have dies hereafter.


          tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow

          creeps in this petty pace from day to day


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. It is a tale

          Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

          Signifying nothing.”                

This famous speech acknowledges
fully the empty mockery his life has become. He realizes how he is duped by
false hopes and illusions. Each tomorrows passes into yesterday by befooling
man. He compares life to a candle, a walking shadow, a poor player and a tale
told by an idiot to expose the utter futility of human life.

A titanic play like Macbeth would never have been so
effective on stage without the magnificent soliloquies. Through them,
Shakespeare highlights his mastery over the art of dialogue under the façade of
a random chronicle play to entertain the Elizabethans.


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