Theme Of Pathos In Macbeth

In William Shakespeare’s famous play “Macbeth,” Macbeth uses three main rhetorical strategies to help him make persuasive arguments. First, he understands his audience, which is especially clear when he convinces the murderers to kill Banquo. Macbeth also uses logos, or the appeal to logic, to help justify his decisions in his own head and to his wife Lady Macbeth. This can most clearly be seen when he attempts to justify why killing Banquo and Fleance is a good idea. Finally, Macbeth utilizes pathos to help sway his wife to continue helping him kill their subjects and companions. Pathos is the appeal to emotion, and Macbeth appeals to both the audience’s emotion as well as Lady Macbeth’s emotion. Macbeth’s most utilized rhetorical strategies …show more content…
One prominent rhetorical device that Macbeth uses is an understanding of his audience. Oftentimes in literature, an understanding of one’s audience is crucial for ameliorating an argument. In Act three scene one Macbeth says, “Well then, now / Have you considered of my speeches? Know / That it was he, in the times past, which held you / So under fortune, which you thought had been / Our innocent self. This I made good to you / In our last conference, passed in probation with you / How you were borne in hand, how crossed, the instruments, / Who wrought with them, and all things else that might / To half a soul and to a notion crazed / Say, “Thus did Banquo,” (87). These lines describe the scene where Macbeth is attempting to convince the …show more content…
He continues to kill people and uses rhetorical devices, one being logos, to ease his mind of the sins he commits the best he can. One such time occured when he used logos, the appeal to logic, to help him try to justify killing Banquo. In Act three scene two, Macbeth says to his wife: “There’s comfort yet; they are assailable. / Then be thou jocund. Ere the bat hath flown / His cloistered flight, ere to black Hecate’s summons / The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums / Hath rung night’s yawning peal, there shall be done / A deed of dreadful note,” (95). This quote shows how Macbeth is trying to comfort himself through the use of the logos appeal. His rationale is that Banquo and Fleance can’t live forever, so why not kill them now? He then makes the statement that “Hath rung night’s yawning peal, there shall be done / A deed of dreadful note,” (95), which means that he is going to try to murder Banquo and Fleance. The use of logic helps Macbeth work up the “courage” to kill the two companions. Another example of Macbeth’s use of the appeal of logos occurs in Act two scene 1: “I go, and it is done. The bell invites me. / Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell / That summons thee to heaven or to hell,” (53). Here Macbeth decides that killing King Duncan is a good idea, after a long soliloquy where he debated the pros and cons of killing the king. He later struggles emotionally and mentally with coping with his

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