William Shakespeare uses several rhetorical devices in his play Macbeth in order to get his strong underlying messages through to the audience as well as entertain them. The story of Macbeth centers around the main character of Macbeth, who is approached by three witches, and informed that he will be the next King. The current King is Duncan, a dear friend of Macbeth. In order to gain the title of King, Macbeth must murder Duncan. After murdering Duncan and becoming King, Macbeth's motives and overall demeanor and attitude towards life takes a turn for the worst. He started out being an average guy with empathy and feelings towards others. With the coming of power and the greed and desire to maintain it, he will stop at nothing to secure his position, even if this means killing the innocent and even his friends. .
In Act Two, Scene 1, the main character Macbeth finds himself spiraling into turmoil and an utterly deranged state of mind while preparing himself for the murder he is about to commit on his honorable friend King Duncan, due to his unresting ambition. Throughout the first half of the speech Macbeth is hallucinating and imagines a floating dagger, caused by the stress and anxiety he is facing. Shakespeare uses many intricate strategies to indicate the sheer extent of anguish in which Macbeth is facing. The alliteration used in line 34 of, "The handle toward my hand?" does two separate jobs; paints a picture in the audience's mind of a dagger being just out of the reach of Macbeth, as well as foretells what Macbeth will be doing soon with a real dagger. This is obviously something that Macbeth has given much thought about and is now entering into the early stages of accepting the despicable act he will do to Duncan. The constant repetition and referencing of Macbeth's, "eyes," "vision," "see," and, "sight," signifies his depiction of what is to come. He wonders whether the dagger is real or imagined and appears to have an awareness, but is powerless to fight against it as he is being instructed by some force which he cannot control.