Our Final Essay

A unifying essay that, at its best, will allow you to explore Macbeth’s multiple layers of meaning. The context, the authorial intention, the characters’ internal world and external presentation and your response as a reader will all intertwine to create an analysis that is uniquely yours.


“How does Shakespeare present Macbeth’s deteriorating state of mind?”

In answering this question, refer both to the extract below and the whole play. Analyse the language, structure, and the use of dramatic devices in Macbeth’s famous speech.

Concentrate on the excerpt itself, but feel free to expand your examination to included matters of context, like the situation he finds himself in.

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The Extract:

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 day 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: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.


Working Notes from the Classroom

Posted by Christopher Waugh

“Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.” (Katherine Mansfield)

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