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Shakespeare uses injury imagery to signify vulnerability. When Macbeth describes Duncan’s corpse to his guests, he says: “his gashed stabs looked like a breach in nature, for ruin’s wasteful entrance” (II, iii, 106-7). At a later date in the play, Malcolm states that Scotland is bleeding, and that “each new day a gash is added to her wounds” (IV, iii, 40-1). These phrases suggest destructibility. Shakespeare achieves this through vivid metaphors that portray wounds as doorways to destruction.
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