Shakespeare uses a wide variety of dramatic devices in the play Macbeth. A dramatic device Macbeth uses is personification in this extract from Act 2 Scene 1. Macbeth sees a dagger before him which is an illusion and potentially a sign of madness. He says
“Thou marshall’st me the way I was going; and such a instrument I was to use”.
Macbeth uses personification by using the object – in this case a knife – as if it were a living being. In this quote Macbeth uses the words “marshall’st me” which means it is guiding him. He says this to the knife which he is imagining to see in front of his eyes. He says to the knife to guide him as a metaphor to control the way he is going. “And such an instrument I was to use” refers to a knife being an instrument and is about to be played. The quote chosen shows hints of remorse even if he continues with the plan to kill King Duncan. In the play Macbeth sees a dagger because he is uncertain whether to kill Duncan or not. He feels weakness if he doesn’t continue with the plan but will feel remorse if he continues so he needs guidance on what he is going to do. He uses the dagger to justify his actions.