Proceedings of the 10th International RAIS Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities (RAIS 2018)

Metaphors of Crime and Punishment in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”

Marina Pershina
Corresponding Author
Marina Pershina
Available Online August 2018.
DOI to use a DOI?
crime, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth, metaphors, punishment, Shakespeare
The aim of the article is to study the notions of crime and punishment in the Shakespeare’s tragedy “Macbeth”. It analyses the role of supernatural elements and metaphorical symbols as key components of the images of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Complex metaphors and poetic symbols go through the play’s plot. They follow the development of the characters’ inner struggle, reveal their intentions, and finally reflect their fall. Most symbols represent the supernatural dichotomy of the heaven (king Duncan’s virtues are compared to angels) and the hell (Macbeth is called a devil). Even the scenes of nature are depicted fantastically. The words of Hecate and the ‘weird sisters’ express the idea of existence in the external human world of something unknown that affects people’s internal motivation. At the end of the tragedy, metaphors in Macbeth’s soliloquies embody the themes of death, destruction, moral disintegration of the personality of the person who lost the meaning of life. The results of the research show that metaphors and symbolic elements are implied in the tragedy to create a psychological portrait of main characters. On the one hand, Shakespeare used them to show individuals. On the other hand, these characters become the collective images of sinners and righteous men.
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Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research
Publication Date
August 2018
DOI to use a DOI?
Open Access
This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC license.

Cite this article

AU  - Marina Pershina
PY  - 2018/08
DA  - 2018/08
TI  - Metaphors of Crime and Punishment in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”
PB  - Atlantis Press
SP  - 202
EP  - 207
SN  - 2352-5398
UR  -
DO  -
ID  - Pershina2018/08
ER  -