Javier Lloyd Vincent, A.
24 November 2017
“I didn’t steal your money; I merely borrowed it.”This issue is not about if you “stole” or “borrowed,” but that you took the item without asking permission. Yes, clearly this is an example of equivocation. This can be defined as using unclear language to cover up the truth by deceiving someone. In The Tragedy of Macbeth, Shakespeare tries to use equivocation to convey implicit meaning by using explicit meaning to help show two sides of the story. Many examples of equivocation have came up throughout Macbeth to convey the implicit meanings that he created with imagery. Shakespeare includes a literary device called equivocation in two Scenes. One in Act 3, Scene 4 and Act 5, Scene 5.
In Act 3, Scene 4 Shakespeare shows equivocation by talking about how far Macbeth has done with his plan to be powerful. He can’t go back to normal because it would be extremely hard to go back due to all of the things he’s done to get where he is now. “I am in blood stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er.” For Macbeth, going back to a normal life after killing so many people and losing the trust of everyone around him could be very difficult. The quote is showing how easy and how hard someone could be.
In Act 5, Scene 5, Shakespeare shows that entire speech to be equivocal. In the speech it goes from Macbeth feeling somewhat accepting of his wife’s death, to not caring about life anymore because he’s lost without her. “She should have died hereafter. There would have been a time for such a word.” In the beginning, Macbeth is fine. He doesn’t seem to be all doom and gloom like he does throughout the rest of the speech. “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.” Shakespeare shows a change in Macbeth. He goes from fine to gone. He feels that life is just an illusion. Nothing is real, everything is just a show.
Shakespeare has showed us a splendid use of equivocation in his writing. Shakespeare wrote an astonishing work because he wanted to show his audience that there’s not always just one side to the story, to challenge their minds resulting to be interesting. He wanted to show how the story works with two sides happening at once. This makes his literary work legendary in our literature today!