My Perspectives: British and World Literature Grade 12, Volume One-page 395-Answers


Macbeth’s return to the Weird Sisters was ironic because he was returning to them with the intent of finding clarity and rationality in a situation that is inherently irrational.

Brooks writes that the child symbolizes the future, specifically a future that one cannot necessarily control. He also writes about how the child symbolizes what makes life meaningful and what makes us human.

brooks says that in the last prophecy Macduff represents the naked babe and when he told Macbeth that he was from “his mother womb/ untimely ripp’d” and then Macbeth had to confront his future and face his doom


The “interim” refers to the time at which a violent act is decided upon and the time at which it actually takes place (e.g. one of the many murders in Macbeth).

Kermode points to thunder and lightning, won and lost battles, and “hurlies and burlies” as examples of “false antitheses” present in Macbeth.

When talking about the patterns present in Shakespeare’s work, Kermode emphasizes the characteristic rhythm with which his words flow (describing it as “hypnotic”) as well as his frequent use of contrasting words (lost and won, men or women, him and me, grow or not…). This frequent reference to these “opposite” words serve to highlight the play’s focus on the contrast between the present and the future.

Passage 1 (Brooks): Brooks’s essay focuses on analysing and ap>
Passage 2 (Kermode):
In Kermode’s essay, he discusses the specific characteristics of Shakespeare’s language and how his writing choices shape Macbeth. He talks specifically about how Shakespeare uses rhythm and contrasting words to drive home the main ideas of the play. He also analyzes the play’s focus on time, specifically about how the play centers around concerns about the future.

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