Images and Imagery in Macbeth

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Imagery in Macbeth

Darkness, disorder, mayhem, fear, guilt, and hypocrisy are all important themes carried throughout William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" by the effective use of imagery in reference to ill-fitting clothing, blood, and light verses dark. Imagery in this play tiptoes its way though every scene to create a malevolent atmosphere of shame and false pretenses.

The contrast between light and dark during "Macbeth" clearly relates to the conflict between good and evil. Darkness is used throughout the play to create a desolate and disturbed atmosphere filled with disarray. Darkness is always prominent during murders and tragic events. When Macbeth realizes that Malcolm is named heir in act 1, scene 4, by the king, Macbeth becomes enveloped in jealousy and says, "Let not light see my black and deep desires" (I.IV.57-58). He hopes that darkness will hide his deepest desires. When Macbeth and Lady Macbeth discuss the murder of Duncan, Lady Macbeth calls on evil to wrap itself around her in a blanket of darkness so that she would not be suspected in the lines, "Come, thick night, /And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell," (I.V.53-54). The morning after Duncan was murdered; Scotland remained in darkness and obscurity. The events that involve immoral acts by characters are continuously done in the presence of darkness. Therefore, one can conclude that evil and death is demonstrated throughout "Macbeth" with the company of darkness. Light, conversely signifies all things good and sane during the play. Within the whole drama, the sun only seems to shine twice: Act 1, scene 6, where Duncan and most other characters are sitting in a serene area in front of the castle, all are in high spiri...

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...ich is intriguing to the readers in order to hold their attention and further their perception of the play. As well, blood imagery is successfully used to illustrate the strong character shift experienced by Macbeth from a brave soldier, to a murderer, to a man filled with self-induced guilt. Macbeth was given the title thane of Cawdor, and he was easily corrupted by the power.

Works Cited and Consulted:

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

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

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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