In Elizabethan England night air was said to be impure and rheumy and it was the air in which evils were most free since it was not purged by the sunshine. Darkness is also associated with the supernatural. William Shakespeare employs the imagery of darkness throughout his play of Macbeth. He uses dark images often to describe instruments of disorder and the evils which characters act upon. In Macbeth Shakespeare uses a lot of images of darkness and night and all the dastardly, underhand and sinister deeds will be performed either at night or in times where there is no light; Act 1 of the play is full of images of darkness and night.
Darkness and Evil in Macbeth Darkness in our society is indicative of evil. For instance, a black cat, a dark night, and a dark place are all symbolic of diablerie. Authors use these symbols to describe an evil character or setting. William Shakespeare employs the imagery of darkness in Act 4 of his play Macbeth to describe the agents of disorder. The witches, Macbeth, and Scotland are all described as dark because they represent the agents of chaos.
Also, by using the word to refer to characters that are known to be evil, it brings forth feelings of distrust and fear. As for meaning, the character Macbeth uses “night” as his shield to hide his evil actions or deeds. When Macbeth feels guilty about what he has done, he calls up upon the spirit of “night” to cover his tracks. He uses “night” as interchangeable with unholy, as shown in his scenes with the Witches. The character of Lady Macbeth also uses the word with a negative connotation.
They meet in foul weather and talk of "thunder, lightning" and "the fog and filthy air", giving the audience a first impression that Macbeth is a dark, dangerous play in which the theme of evil is central. Only once in the play are the three weird sisters called 'witches', instead they are called "old hags" and "elemental forces". Shakespeare describes the witches in this way to make them sound more evil so that the audience would dislike them more. Shakespeare used the witches and supernatural influences to present evil scenes and events. As witches were hated at the time that Shakespeare wrote the play, he used the witc... ... middle of paper ... ...h after Guy Fawks' attempt to kill King James I in 1605.
The following three paragraphs will further discuss these topics. The first example of Shakespeare’s use of night and darkness in the appearances of the three witches. The witch sisters are the main sources of evil within the play MacBeth. When the witches are in an act, storms or the darkness of the woods always accompanies them. This shows great evilness. "
While she calls upon the dark spirits to strip away her feminity she also says “…nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark To cry “Hold, hold!”” (Act 1, Scene 5) In this quote Lady Macbeth is also using darkness metaphorically as a way that she and her husband can keep their ambitions secret and how the darkness serves as a cover so that no one can see them commit the murder. The secrecy that the Macbeths desire helps add to the dark tone of the story. In both these quotes, darkness establishes the enigmatic and cryptic tone that dominates the play. In addition, darkness is used to ... ... middle of paper ... ...l things since she decided to help Macbeth become king. It is a vain attempt to keep herself in a good light even though she has done many bad things.
His thoughts are so terrible he doesn’t want light to see them because he feels guilty and this also shows light is good, dark is evil. Another example of something very similar is after Lady Macbeth’s Soliloquy “Come, thick night, / And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, / That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, / Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, / To cry "Hold, hold!" (1.5.50-54). Again this is a quote that is saying That she does not want light to see her deeds, which becomes a common thread between many of the horrific acts that take place over the play. Lastly after the moon has gone down Banquo says to Fleance, "There's husbandry in heaven; / Their candles are all out" (2.1.4-5).
Shakespeare contrasts wickedness with innocence to make the brutality of the play appear worse. It is clear from the start of the play that the witches are important, in just the first scene before they say anything the atmosphere is already set as evil. They meet on a moor in thunder and lightning, which grabs the audience's attention. These surroundings portray evil; the moor is lonely, barren and bleak, whilst thunder and lightning assist in creating a supernatural image to place the witches. The witches have short lines, which are written in rhyme making their words seem like a chant.
Hecate utilizes word choice including “dismal”, “fatal”, “death”, and “fear” in order to establish a gruesome connotation, highlighting her anger towards Macbeth. Her desire to punish Macbeth for his greed fuels her to construct a plan with emphasized evil to punish him, and her aim to do this at night bridges it with her evil plan. The negatively connotated word choice of characters who have malicious plans at night ties darkness to villainous
James I was personally terrified yet fascinated by witches after an attempt on his life by Agnes Sampson, a convicted witch. This led to the practice of witchcraft becoming punishable by death. A theme of such forbidden ideas, shrouded in the mystery of the supernatural would surely have horrified those watching the play yet left them intrigued. The witches embody a malign and demonic intelligence. They utilise this to guide the main themes and characters within the play, notably by their reversal of nature when chanting 'Fair is foul and foul is fair'.