“The Quiet One” and “The History of Macbeth” Essay

A wise person once said, “Be careful what mask you put on, it may stick.” Explain clearly what this quotation means. both Ned in “The Quiet One”(15) and Macbeth in “The History of Macbeth”(47), find themselves wearing “masks” (cast in roles) that make them uneasy – roles they feel they have been forced into, roles they did not choose. Explain what these roles are. To what extent have others forced these characters into their roles, and to what extent did they assume the roles willingly? Make comparisons, remembering to use quotations from the text to support your ideas. Explain why each character might or might not be able to escape from his role. Write about the following ideas: To what extent do you sometimes feel forced into a role yourself? Do you see any way out of it? Why or why not?


Consider this description of Collins attempting to fall asleep:

He lay and the darkness came up to him, the darkness spread out to the edges of his being, the darkness washed away the edges of his being as the sea melts the edges of the sand.  But just as it was about to smooth out his head and wash down the pinnacles of his features like a sandcastle, a return of consciousness rose within him and swept it away.  (p. 159)

To what is falling asleep compared?  What does the comparison suggest to us about falling asleep?  do you find this extended metaphor appropriate?  If not, what comparison would you make?