Light And Darkness In Macbeth

663 Words3 Pages
Tragedy? Check. Horror? Check. Evil? Check! Macbeth, a book written by William Shakespeare in 1599, which is based on a true story, incorporates these emotions and more through subtle yet complex visuals. The contrast between light and darkness within the play symbolizes good and evil. Duncan, the king of Scotland, confirms this theory when he says to Macbeth that good things happen to those who deserve it, “signs of nobleness, like stars, shall shine/On all deserves.” (I.iv.42-43). This lets us know early on in the play that once evil begins there will no longer be anything delightful. Banquo, one of Macbeth’s “friends”, uses darkness to suggest evil when he had been talking to Fleance about the sky, “There’s husbandry in heaven;/Their candles are out.” (II.i.4-5). This emphasizes Duncan’s point about light contributing to good things because by this point in the play, Macbeth is in the middle of planning out Duncan’s murder, thus no light will shine because evil lurks in the air. Another great point that highlights the contrast between light and darkness is when Macbeth is talking to his wife after she tells him to move on from the murder, and mentions “good things of day begin to droop and drowse;/ Whiles night’s black agents to their preys do rouse.” (III.ii.54-55). Not only does that quote reiterate that light means good, but also that Macbeth was as innocent as all other humans until he ignored his conscience and followed his ego. Therefore light and darkness represents good and evil. Another visual that emphasizes evil in Macbeth is the constant focus on blood. Blood is always a good indicator that something bad has happened because in order to physically see blood, someone must have been cut, scraped or stabbed. When ... ... middle of paper ... ...n she talks about murdering Duncan, …to express the position he uses the same metaphor of clothes: “I have bought Golden opinions from all sorts of people, which would be worn now in their newest gloss,”(Spurgeon, The Imagery of Macbeth). This relates back to paragraph one where good things happen to goo people, because Macbeth is thane of Cawdor and has been nothing but nice everyone rewards him with respect and kindness. In conclusion, Shakespeare used both subtle and complex visuals to further illustrate the central theme of Macbeth, evil. Work Cited Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Ed. Betty Bealey. Mississauga: Canadian School Book Exchange. 1996. Print Spurgeon, Caroline. “The Imagery of Macbeth.” The Tragedy of Macbeth. Ed. Dom Saliani, Chris Ferguson, Dr. Tom Scott. London: International Thomson Publishing. 1997. 123-126. Print.
Open Document