More on explaining ideas for the audience

More on explaining ideas for the audience: Marlowe often translates the Latin tag phrases and quotations in the next line of the play, as in this example. Sometimes, he will repeat a complex thought using simpler language. For example, in this scene lines 14-15 and 60-63 summarise the previous few lines.

Shakespeare also uses this technique in Macbeth. Horrified and guilt-ridden after he has stabbed King Duncan, Macbeth says:

Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No; this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnadine,
Making the green one red. Macbeth, (Act II sc ii)

Shakespeare explains the image by repeating it in familiar words ‘making the green one red'. Bearing in mind that most plays were and are seen and heard on the stage rather than dissected on the page, this is a practical way of ensuring that the whole audience understands what is going on.

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