Macbeth - Images and Imagery

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MacbethL Imagery One of the most important tools in literature is imagery. It is not just in there to fill up paper; rather, there is at least one dramatic purpose for each image and there are many different types of imagery. This essay seeks to prove that in the play Macbeth the author William Shakespeare uses darkness imagery for three dramatic purposes. Those three purposes are, to create atmosphere, to arouse the emotions of the audience and to contribute to the major theme of the play. The darkness imagery in Macbeth contributes to its ominous atmosphere. In the very beginning of the play the three witches are talking and the first witch says "When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?" (Macbeth 1. 1. line 1). This is a good example of darkness imagery because when you think of the crashing thunder, lightning and rain, they all remind you of evil and ominous things. Later on the Sergeant is talking with Duncan and Malcolm when he states "Ship wrecking storms and direful thunders break" (1. 2. l26). Again this darkness imagery contributes to the ominous atmosphere of the play, having reference to thunder and dark storms. Finally, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are talking in the scene just before the murder of Banquo and Macbeth says "Light thickens, and the crow makes wing to the rooky wood: Good things of day begin to droop and drowse, whiles night's black agents to their preys do rouse" (3. 2. l50-53). This example of darkness imagery is saying that the day is turning into night, all the good things are going to sleep, and the evil creatures are coming out . The evil in this previous quotation and the two before adds to the ominous atmosphere. Since the imagery creates an ominous atmosphere it would then lead to the second dramatic purpose, to arouse the emotions of the audience. Darkness imagery is a very good tool for arousing the emotions of the audience. It enables people to create a mental picture of the what they are reading. For instance, in this instance of darkness imagery Duncan and Macbeth were talking when Macbeth says aside "Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires" (1. 4. l50-51). When words like dark and desire are put in that context it creates many horrible mental pictures about murders and fights which arouses peoples emotions. Ross is later talking with an old man when he states "By the clock `tis day, and yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp" (2.
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