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Literary Terminologies ref. “Macbeth”. Mr. Cleon M. McLean Department of English Ontario High School. Literary Terminologies for plays. act —a major division in the action of a play

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Literary Terminologies ref. “Macbeth”


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    1. Literary Terminologies ref. “Macbeth” Mr. Cleon M. McLean Department of English Ontario High School

    2. Literary Terminologies for plays • act—a major division in the action of a play • aside—when a character expresses to the audience his or her thought or intention in a short speech which, typically, is inaudible to the other characters on stage • blank verse—unrhymed iambic pentameter (five-stress iambic verse), ten-syllable lines. Of all English verse forms, blank verse is the closest to the natural rhythms of English speech

    3. Literary Terminologies for plays • comic relief—the introduction of a comic character, speech, or scene in a serious or tragic text, especially a dramatic work. • dramatic irony—involves a situation in a play in which the audience and the author share knowledge of present or future circumstances of which a character is ignorant. • ending couplets—this is created when the last two words in two subsequent lines rhyme.

    4. Literary Terminologies for plays • exeunt—stage directions meaning “they” go off stage. E.g., Exeunt the three witches • flourish—to sound a trumpet call or fanfare • groundling—a spectator in the cheap, standing-only section of the Elizabethan theatre • Scene—a subdivision of an act. The changing of scenes typically occur with the changing of the setting in a play

    5. Literary Terminologies for plays • Soliloquy—the act of talking to oneself, whether silently or aloud. A character, alone on stage, utters his/her thoughts aloud. This is a playwright’s way of conveying a character’s thoughts or mental state to the audience. • Thane—a person holding lands of the king • Tragedy—dramatic representation of serious and important actions which oftentimes end catastrophically/disastrously

    6. Themes in “Macbeth” • equivocation—vague or ambiguous expressions often meant as prevarications (lies) or to mislead • false fronts—a façade or fake appearance meant to deceive • The role of the three witches in Macbeth’s fate • The role of Lady Macbeth in Macbeth’s destiny/fate • Machiavellian ambition

    7. Major Places in “Macbeth” • Scotland—major setting of the play • Norway—rival country of Scotland • England—where Duncan’s son, Malcolm flees • Ireland—where Duncan’s son, Donaldbain flees

    8. Feuds in “Macbeth” • Feud—land granted to a lord, as part of the feudal system • Feuds in “Macbeth”: • Forres • Inverness • Glamis • Cawdor • Fife • a heath

    9. “Macbeth”Act 1. Scene 5 • 1. What does Macbeth mean when he calls his wife “my dearest partner of greatness.” • 2.  What is it about Macbeth’s character does his wife fear? • 3.  According to Lady Macbeth, what is “the nearest way” that she speaks of? • 4.  Ambition should be attended with what thing, says Lady Macbeth? • 5.  What is the “golden round” that Lady Macbeth speaks of?

    10. “Macbeth”Act 1. Scene 5 • How is Lady Macbeth going to convince Macbeth to obtain the “golden round”? (use her words) • What is the “metaphysical aid” that Lady Macbeth mentions in her soliloquy? • Symbolism of the caw of a raven is a harbinger of death. Why is Lady Macbeth’s raven hoarse? • What does Lady Macbeth mean when she says “unsex me here”? • The bond between a mother and her child is best signified through the act of breastfeeding. How does Lady Macbeth treat the breastfeeding bond?