Images and Imagery in Macbeth

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Imagery in Macbeth

Shakespeare uses a variety of techniques in order to add depth and the underlying subtext within his plays. 'Macbeth' is no exception, he uses the stark imagery of clothing, the sickening physicality of blood and the concept of darkness to communicate a number of themes. In turn this conveys important symbols that can be found within the play.

Within 'Macbeth' the imagery of clothing portrays how Macbeth is seeking to hide his "disgraceful self" from his own eyes and those around him. Shakespeare wants to keep alive the ironical contrast between the wretched creature that Macbeth really is, and the disguises he assumes to conceal the fact. In my opinion, the reader thinks of the play honors as garments to be worn; likewise, Macbeth is constantly represented symbolically as the wearer of robes not belonging to him. He is wearing an undeserved dignity, which is a crucial point that Shakespeare has made. The description of the purpose of clothing in Macbeth is the fact that these garments are not his. This perhaps leads to the notion that Macbeth is uncomfortable in them because he is continually conscious of the fact that he is not the rightful owner.

Below we can see the way in which that Macbeth's new honors sits ill upon him, like loose and badly fitting garments, which in essence belongs to someone else:

"New honours come upon him, Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould, But with the aid of use."(Act I, iii: 144)

Specifically the use of the word 'strange' allows the reader to see how he fills uncomfortable in what he is wearing and therefore the role that he is performing.

In a Shakespearean tragedy, he is known to create a unique t...

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...contrast to moments with less detailed subtext. These depths of meanings are vitally important within Macbeth as it signifies not only character intention but plot devises that manipulate the lives we see on stage.

Works Cited and Consulted:

Bradley, A.C. Shakespearean Tragedy. Toronto: Penguin Books Canada Ltd., 1991.

Campbell, Lily B. Shakespeare's Tragic Heroes, Slaves of Passion. Gloucester: Peter Smith Publisher Inc., 1973.

Edwards, Terence. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Macbeth. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1977.

Hunter, G.K. "Macbeth in the Twentieth Century." Aspects of Macbeth. Ed. Kenneth Muir

Shakespeare, William. Tragedy of Macbeth . Ed. Barbara Mowat and Paul Warstine. New York: Washington Press, 1992.

Scott, Mark W. (Editor). Shakespeare for Students. Gale Research Inc. Detroit, Michigan. 1992
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