AP English Literature and Composition Macbeth and Sound and Fury Essay - 1 AP English Teacher Name Date A Tale Told By An Idiot Tomorrow and tomorrow

AP English Literature and Composition Macbeth and Sound and Fury Essay

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1 AP English Teacher Name Date A Tale Told By An Idiot “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,/ Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,/ To the last syllable of recorded time;/ And all our yesterdays have lighted fools/ the way to dusty death. Out, Out, brief candle,/ Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player/ That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,/ And then is heard no more. It is a tale/ Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,/ signifying nothing” ( Macbeth ; V.v.19-28). This soliloquy from Shakespeare’s, Macbeth , presents a despairing and depressing outlook on life, portraying it as an ultimately purposeless existence, unable to be controlled by any individual. William Faulkner uses a phrase from Macbeth’s monologue as the title of his novel, The Sound and the Fury, in order to allow his readers to connect the ultimate purposelessness and inevitable despair that the Compson family, and the people who surround it, endure, with Macbeth’s realization of the insignificance of life in general. Faulkner uses four different voices to narrate his story, and while each varies in tone, sophistication, and prejudice, they all lead the reader to discover a sense of meaninglessness found within each character’s actions and opinions. Faulkner therefore uses this passage as the foundation for his entire novel. He illustrates his Compson family as subject to the inevitable—they are unable to control the outcomes of their lives and find themselves dragged along a pre-determined path of despair towards inescapable death. Like Macbeth, the Compson family members must endure the fundamental triviality of their “hour upon the stage,” as they are merely “[players]” in the Acts and Scenes of their lives (Shakespeare , V.v, 25,24).
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1 Faulkner begins The Sound and the Fury with a section narrated by Benjy, the mentally challenged member of the family, who portrays a more simplistic view of life. Faulkner directly
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