GCSE Edexcel Macbeth Extract Question - FeedbackWatch
Through the use of imperatives, repetition and similes, Shakespeare presents Macbeth as a brave, courageous man in this extract.
Shakespeare makes Macbeth’s bravery and power evident from the very start of the extract with he tells the Ghost of Banquo to “Avaunt! and quit my sight!” The use of the imperative verb “avaunt” illustrates Macbeth’s strong desire for the ghost to disappear. In addition, the scattering of exclamation marks demonstrates that Macbeth expects the ghost to disappear immediately. This also highlights his aggressive tone, making the audience realise that Macbeth could get angry at or attack the ghost if it doesn’t follow his instruction, emphasising his courageousness.
Macbeth’s bravery is even more evident when he challenges the ghost to a fight stating, “what man dare, I dare”. The verb “dare” has connotations of difficult tasks and objectives that prove someone’s courage. This repetition of this emphasises that Macbeth is willing to take on whatever task is thrown at him, regardless of how hard it may be. In addition, the personal pronoun “I” indicates that he is willing to fight individually, portraying him as a powerful and independent man with immense amounts of determination. The audience may be inspired by this portrayal of Macbeth and, especially in the Jacobean society, wish to have a similar amount of bravery as Macbeth shows.
Furthermore, Shakespeare uses similes to portray Macbeth as a brave warrior. This is evident when he instructs the ghost to “approach thou like the rugged Russian bear.” This simile implies that Macbeth is an intimidating and frightening individual who is capable of overcoming the violence and power of a bear. This description may strike fear in the audience because of the size and strength bears are associated with. This sense of intimidation is amplified through the use of the verb “approach”, which perhaps suggests that Macbeth has a strong desire to fight and win battles, once again showing how courageous he is.
Macbeth’s bravery is also shown through the use of a modal verb when he exclaims, “my firm nerves/shall never tremble”. The modal verb implies that Macbeth is absolutely certain that he will not show any fear for the ghost, regardless of what may happen to him. The adjective “firm” accentuates this, even further illustrating just how confident he is that he will show no emotion. This confidence is reinforced through the use of enjambment, which increases the speed of the monologue and emphasises his certainty and desire to fight. The audience may be greatly impressed by the confidence Macbeth is showing and possibly even surprised by how seemingly brave he is.