Evilmac Shakespeare's Macbeth Theme Of Night Vs Day And Evilness

594 words - 2 pages

Macbeth: Theme of Night vs Day and Evilness



        “Fair is foul, and foul is fair” (I.i.10).  This becomes the key

phrase in describing Macbeth's downfall.  It defines the night vs. day

motif, foreshadowing the evil that will soon come.  The night vs. day motif

is so important in bringing out the theme of evil in this play because

almost all of the elements of Macbeth's downfall are revealed at night.

Sleeplessness, murder, and the witches' prophecies all become relevant as

the drama unfolds.


        When the witches tell Macbeth that he will soon be the Thane of

Cawdor, his ambition blossoms.  Before long he realizes that he has to get

Duncan out of his way. He then starts something he is not mentally ready

to start when he kills Duncan.  The first glimpse of evil comes that night.

After he has done his deed, the paranoia sets in.  “But wherefore could not

I pronounce ‘Amen'?”  (II.ii.31).  Macbeth realizes that the “goodness” is

starting to drift away.  He looks at his hands and sees his guilt, the



        The next example of evil at night is when the sleeplessness sets in

and Macbeth's guilt starts to get the best of him.  He slowly starts going

mad because of his guilt and begins to worry.  Macbeth tries to snap out of

it and act normal so that nobody will suspect anything, but he gets worse.

“Methought I heard a voice cry, ‘Sleep no more!  Macbeth does murder sleep'”

(II.ii.35-36).  Macbeth's sleeplessness means the more sleep he loses, the

more he is exposed to night, which is evil.


        The witches play a key role in turning Macbeth into the paranoid,

dangerous person that he his.  They basically ignite the tragedy as well as

Macbeth's fate when they tell him he will be Thane of Cawdor.  Macbeth was

not aware of the problems that the prophecy would soon create, nor was he

aware that it would bring him to his end.  The...

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