A Dark Descent into Evilness: Macbeth

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A literary device is a method used by authors to convey their message through their writing. An example of a literary device is imagery. In literature, imagery enhances the visualization experience for the reader, as well as paints a picture in the reader’s mind full of places, colors, expressions, and textures. Imagery is used in numerous pieces to give visual aid to the reader, and serves the purpose to appeal to sensory experiences-real or unreal. By provoking certain emotions or feelings, the reader can relate to the characters and plot easier, resulting in a better understanding of the piece. Of the many emotions and feelings that can result from imagery, one of the most common emotions is guilt. When one realizes or believes that they have violated their moral standards, a feeling of remorse clouds one. This emotion is guilt-a feeling that humans experience at least once in their life. Throughout William Shakespeare’s play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, the reoccurring motif of blood is used as a symbol to demonstrate that guilt causes emotional turmoil within the characters, ultimately leading to their complete transformation into evilness.
Macbeth, a, brave and noble warrior, begins his descent into evilness when he murders King Duncan, in his attempt to fulfill the prophecy that he will someday become King. Macbeth was not always a murderer, and in the beginning of the play, he is known as a heroic fighter on the battlefield, as well as a loyal friend to King Duncan. It is only after Macbeth meets the three evil witches and learns about his future, that Macbeth starts his transformation and murders anyone in his way as he starts to spiral into evilness. This is evident when Macbeth devises a plan to kill King Duncan, ...

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... guilt stems from the reoccurring motif of blood, which aids in Macbeth’s spiral to evilness since it is used as a symbol to demonstrate that guilt causes emotional turmoil within the main character, Macbeth. This emotional turmoil ultimately leads to Macbeth’s complete transformation into evilness. Macbeth achieves his goal to become ruler, but then uses his power selfishly and kills those close to him.

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. Macbeth - William Shakespeare, New Edition. New York: Chelsea House, 2010. Infobase eBooks. Web. 18 Mar. 2014
Hacht, Anne Marie. "Macbeth." Shakespeare for Students: Critical Interpretations of Shakespeare's Plays and Poetry. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Thomson / Gale, 2007. 435-68. Print.
Shakespeare, William. "Macbeth." Prentice Hall Literature. Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes. Needham, MA: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005. 299-388. Print.
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