Imagens das páginas
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of these artifices used in the various plays have proved excellent criteria for determining their date, as with increased practice came increased skill in their manipulation. In this play the principal variations are as follows:

(i.) The Position of the Cæsura or natural pause in the line. If the student reads aloud a few of the lines, he will notice that this pause occurs generally after the fifth or sixth syllable, but that it is frequently placed as early as the first or as late as the eighth; e.g.: (1) “First, I as I am his kinsman and his subject." I. vii. 13. (2) “But here, | upon this bank and shoal of time.” I. vii. 6. (3) “And pity, | like a naked new-born babe.”

I. vii. 21. (4) “To our own lips. | He's here in double trust.” I. vii. 12. (5) “It were done quickly: | If the assassination." I. vii. 2. (6) “With his surcease success; | that but this blow." I. vii. 4. (7) “If it were done when 'tis done, | then 'twere well.” I. vii. 1. (8) “Could trammel up the consequence, , and catch.” I. vii. 3.

(ii.) The Occasional Trochee, or foot of strong and weak accents, instead of the Iambic, or weak and strong. This is used most frequently after a pause, and consequently at the commencement of a line :

Glámis thou 'art, | and Cáw | dor; and | shalt bé.” I. v. 13. The present participle ending in -ing, especially at the beginning of a line, and the endings -er, -or, seem to have received a stronger accent than is given them now, and account for many apparent trochees, e.g.:Striding | the blást, | or heaven's | cherub | im horsed.”

I. vii, 22. Rather | than só, | come fate | intó | the list.” III. i. 70. (iii.) The Hypermetric Line, or weak ending, i.e., a line with an eleventh (weak) accent at the end :"By si nel's death | I know I am tháne of Glá | mis."

I. iii. 71. “You greet | with prés | ent gráce | and great | predíc | tion."

I. iii. 55.


Sometimes a hypermetric syllable

after the Cæsura; e.g., "The thane | of Caw | dor, began | a dís | mal cón | flict.”

I. ii. 53. (iv.) Run-on Lines, or lines at the end of which there is no natural pause, e.g.:

“ Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible

To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind ?

II. i. 36-38.
“ Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it."

I. v. 17, 18. A line which ends with a natural pause is said to be end-stopped, e.g.:

“That my keen knife see not the wound it makes.” I. v. 50.

(v.) Variations of Emphasis, or weak-strong accents are frequent, as the accent of of in the lines :“A dag | ger of the mind.”

II. i. 38. (vi.) Lines of Irregular Length occur, especially when great agitation is expressed, as in the lines of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth just after the murder, II. ii. 17, 18; or to give time for some necessary action, as in Macbeth's soliloquy, II. i. 4.

When the line is lengthened into six feet it is called an Alexandrine. e.g.:-"Our bó | som int | 'rest: go | pronounce his prés I ent death."

I. ii. 64. (vii.) Use of Rime.--In the article dealing with the theatre in Shakespeare's time, it has been explained that the earlier plays were written in rime, and that the first play in blank verse was written by Sackville in 1561. The greater freedom of blank verse, its nearer resemblance to ordinary speech, and the variety with which its lines could be treated, gave it an enormous advantage as a dramatic medium over the regular and monotonous rhythm of the rimed line. In the few years, therefore, that elapsed between 1561 and 1606, the rimed

ending had been less and less employed. In this play Shakespeare uses it to mark the end of a scene or speech, as in I. i., II. i., III. i., III. iv. 139, 140.

In many of Shakespeare's plays rime is never used without special reason, but in this play it is used with moderate frequency. The student should notice that the dramatist uses blank verse to express the dramatic passions, rime when a softer note is touched, and prose for humorous scenes, such as those of the porter's speech, or little Macduff's childish prattle. The sleep-walking scene, Act V., Scene i., is also in prose.

In scanning the lines of the play, the student will be much helped by reciting the passages aloud. The following hints may also be of assistance :

(a) -tion, -sion, were pronounced as two syllables in the time of Shakespeare, and occur frequently with such pronunciation in this play, especially at the end of a line, e.g., ex-e-cu-ti-on (I. ii. 18), re-flec-ti-on (I. ii. 25).

(6) Even, spirit, towards, are pronounced as one syllable, while such words as heaven have sometimes one and sometimes two.

(c) The e of the is often elided before a vowel. “Stop up I th' access and pass | age to | remorse,” I. v. 42. " And fill | me from the crown | to th' toe, | top-full.”

I. v. 40. (d) A weak accent is frequently slurred, e.g., abs'lute (IV. iii. 38), corp'ral (I. iii. 81), inn'cent (III. ii. 45).

(e) I have, I am, thou art, are frequently pronounced as one syllable, e.g.: “Does ún I make you. | I have giv | en suck | and know."

I. vii. 54. “ Upon his death? | I am sét | tled and bend up.” I. vii. 79. “Was heavi y on | me: thou art | so fár | before.” I. iv. 16.

(f) The word Dunsinane has generally the accent on the last syllable, but it is accented on the second syllable in the line:

“Great Bir | nam wood | to high | Dunsin | ane hill." IV. i. 93.

Figures of Speechi.

All those embellishments which the writer uses in order to render his work more attractive are called “Tropes,” or “Figures of Speech.” These figures may be divided into four classes, according as they are suggested by

(a) Comparison,
(b) Association of Ideas,
(c) Contrast, or

(d) Are used for Emphasis. (a) Figures due to Comparison :

(1) Simile (L. similis=like).--In this figure one thing is said to be like or unlike another, and the figure is introduced by such words as like,” “ unlike,” or “ as."

" Like valour's minion."
As two spent swimmers, that do cling together.”

I. ii. 19.

I. ii. 8.

(2) Metaphor (Gr. meta, pherein=to carry across) is used when the resemblance is carried to complete identity, and one thing is spoken of as being another.

“We have scotch'd the snake, not kill'd it."

III. ii. 13.

(3) Personification (L. persona=a person, facio=I make.) — In this figure inanimate objects are spoken of as being endowed with life.

“Was the hope drunk Wherein you dress'd yourself ? "

I. vii. 35, 36.

(b) Figures due to Association :

(1) Metonymy (Gr. meta=a change; onoma=a name);


[ocr errors]

where a thing is described under the name of one of its adjuncts or attributes. " With his brandish'd steel."

I. ii. 17. Norway himself."

I. ii, 50. (2) Synecdoche (Gr. syn=together; ekdechomai=I receive) where the whole is described under the name of one of its parts. My gashes cry for help.”

I. ii. 42. (3) Hypallage (Gr. hypo=under; allage=a change) when an epithet is transferred from one thing to another with which it is associated.

" Let us speak Our free hearts each to other.”

I. iii. 154, 155. Here free belongs to speak and not to hearts.

(4) Hendiadys (Gr. hen=one; dia=through; dyoin=two) is used when a noun and its asociated adjectives are expressed by two nouns, e.g.:

“ Brows of grace" (IV. iii. 23), for gracious brows.

“State of honour” (IV. ii. 64), for honourable estate. (c) Figures due to Contrast.

(1) Antithesis (Gr. anti=against; thesis=a placing), or direct contrasting of two things. “False face must hide what the false heart doth know.” I. vii. 82.

(2) Oxymoron (Gr. Oxus=sharp; moros=foolish) is the combined use of two expressions seemingly opposed in meaning, “So foul and fair a day I have not seen.”

I. iii. 38. (3) Irony (Gr. eironeia=dissembling), where the contrast is between what is said and what is meant.

Are you so gospell’d

To pray for this good man." III. i. 87, 88. (d) Figures of Emphasis.

(1) Climax (Gr. klimax=a ladder), where the expressions gradually increase in force.

“But now I am cabin'd, cribb'd, confined, bound in." III. iv. 24.

« AnteriorContinuar »