1st November 2018

exam question 3

what matters most in a text is what goes on beneath the surface 

The idea of reading between the lines gives you more truth about the text, is true. An example of where reading between the lines gives more truth to the text is in the play Macbeth written by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare has twisted in symbolism to quotes,this in gives the play more meaning. An example of  a quote with symbolism twisted into it is ”  Macbeth doth murder sleep”. This quote has an foreshadowed deeper meaning to the quote. Sleep is portrayed as innocent and peaceful. When Macbeth/ Lady Macbeth had killed King Duncan in his sleep, Shakespeare had foreshadowed that by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth murdering him in his sleep, they have also murdered their sleep, this is shown when Macbeth had nightmares and Lady Macbeth sleepwalks.

Another example of when the play has more meaning beneath the surface is the scene when Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking trying to rub off the blood from her hands. ” out damn spot ,Out, I say!—One, two. Why, then, ’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky!—Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?” The first part of this quote “out damn spot ,Out, I say!”, Lady Macbeth is sleep walking and trying to rub out the blood from her hands. It isnt the action of Lady Macbeth rubbing her hands that has the deeper meaning, it is the blood that isnt on her hands. Blood in the play Macbeth has the deeper meaning of murder and guilt. The fact that we can’t see the blood on her hands, because there isn’t any blood there, gives a closer meaning to her guilt because we can’t physically see her guilt, but only her expression of it.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Hi Amy,

    This is a great set of observations about the play. You’re absolutely right to indicate that the underlying ideas can be conveyed through the figurative language effects.

    Now – try a Level 1 past paper, pick an answer, and see if you can frame up a response to that!



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