Use of Imagery in Macbeth

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In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, imagery is used to set the tone of a passage, provide contrast and irony to scenes, and help to display character. Shakespeare applies the imagery of clothing, darkness, and blood in an exceptional manner to describe his play. Each one of these is an important symbol used throughout the play. They add to a complete understanding of a passage or the play as a whole.

Clothing is used frequently as an image in Macbeth to help display Macbeth’s character. Clothing displays that Macbeth is trying to hide the evil inside and his own guilt from others. Shakespeare accentuates the contrast between Macbeth’s true emotions and what he displays to others in an attempt to hide his emotions. Macbeth feels uncomfortable wearing the clothes he does, because he knows that they do not represent his true self; they are a facade. Macbeth wears robes that do not belong to him, and this symbol is continuously represented throughout the play. Macbeth feels uncomfortable in the clothes, “New honours come upon him, like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould, but with aid of use” (A1, S3). Shakespeare really emphasizes that Macbeth is wearing an undeserved dignity, and it is this ironic and contrasting point that helps to explain Macbeth’s true inner character.

There is an old expression, “Mould grows in the dark”. In human culture, there are many reflections of dark being bad and sinister, and light being good and virtuous. Darth Vader from Star Wars is dressed in black, while Luke is in a light robe. Heaven is always pictured as being full of light, while hell is dark and evil. Imagery of darkness is very important in human life, as we tend to polarize things automatically. Shakespeare understand...

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...beth imagery is effectively used with clothing, darkness, and blood. The clothing primarily to display the true character behind Macbeth by showing his emotions and guilt about wearing clothes he does not deserve. The darkness highlighting certain scenes of irony, enforcing the unnatural and evil acts of murder, as well as setting the stage for them. Finally, blood is used throughout the play to show character development, represent guilt, treachery, and honor, as well as enforce the theme of evil. Shakespeare is very intelligent in his choice of images. He continuously uses common images which can transcend time, as they are central to human nature. This enables the imagery’s effect to stay constant, no matter who reads it or when it is read.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, Willaim, and Aaron Durband. Macbeth. Shakespeare Made Easy . Hauppagem, NY: Barron, 2004. Print.
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