Commentaire macbeth, ii, iii, v. 1-94 (en anglais)
Macbeth, II, iii, 1-94
After Macbeth’s regicide, the attention of the audience shifts to the Porter, an eccentric character full of humor. The dark, wicked atmosphere of scene ii is replaced by the Porter’s comical speech. However, Macbeth’s lustful ambitions return to the front scene, embodied by his hypocrisy and feigned pain at Duncan’s death, which only the audience fully understands. During this passage, the deep nature of his character is discovered through the Porter’s monologues, his deceitful attitude and the audience’s major importance.
The scene opens with the introduction of a new unnamed character, the Porter. Despite being at first sight only a door opener, his speech offers comic relief to the play as well as interesting analogies with Macbeth’s defining traits. In a play, comic relief is a device used by the writer which consists in introducing a comical character or dialogue, most of the time to relieve tension in the midst of escalating tension. Here, after Duncan’s assassination and a very tense moment, the scene around which the whole plot revolves, comes the humorous porter and his long speech in prose. This particularity is the most obvious difference with the previous scenes: the iambic verses of the noblemen are replaced by day-to-day life prose, reflecting how the character would speak in real life. This difference in format already puts forward the difference in social status between him and the other characters, also shown by the content of his speech. Indeed, in his first monologue, the Porter mentions tailors, a farmer; he also mentions in his second monologue human vices: drinking, sex, and idleness, subjects of conversation far from those of Macbeth for example, and which make him a paragon of the common man. The syntax he employs also indicates his lower social status and education: he uses numerous abbreviations or colloquial terms, such as “old,” (v. 2) “i’th’name,” (v. 4) “enow,” (v.6) signs of his