The play has a twofold structure following Macbeth’s rise to power and then his fall.
Language, form and structure
Macbeth (Grades 9–1)
The play is Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy with all action focused on Macbeth’s rise to power and his fall. His ambition is his fatal flaw as tragic hero.
Most characters speak in blank verse (unrhymed iambic pentameter – where there are ten syllables in each line, and each unstressed syllable is followed by a stressed one). When this pattern changes, it is often because of high emotion.
The witches speak in rhyming couplets to show how spells are chanted. This rhythm adds an almost light-hearted rhythm to their sinister prophecies.
The motifs of sleep and blood run throughout
and both are used to signify the menace and destruction that ensues from the witches’ prophecies.