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Images And Imagery In Macbeth Essay

1512 words - 6 pages

Imagery in Macbeth  

   Shakespeare uses a variety of techniques in order to add depth and the underlying subtext within his plays. 'Macbeth' is no exception, he uses the stark imagery of clothing, the sickening physicality of blood and the concept of darkness to communicate a number of themes.  In turn this conveys important symbols that can be found within the play.

 

Within 'Macbeth' the imagery of clothing portrays how Macbeth is seeking to hide his "disgraceful self" from his own eyes and those around him. Shakespeare wants to keep alive the ironical contrast between the wretched creature that Macbeth really is, and the disguises he assumes to conceal the fact. In my opinion, the reader thinks of the play honors as garments to be worn; likewise, Macbeth is constantly represented symbolically as the wearer of robes not belonging to him. He is wearing an undeserved dignity, which is a crucial point that Shakespeare has made. The description of the purpose of clothing in Macbeth is the fact that these garments are not his. This perhaps leads to the notion that Macbeth is uncomfortable in them because he is continually conscious of the fact that he is not the rightful owner.

 

Below we can see the way in which that Macbeth's new honors sits ill upon him, like loose and badly fitting garments, which in essence belongs to someone else:

 

"New honours come upon him, Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould, But with the aid of use."(Act I, iii: 144)

 

Specifically the use of the word 'strange' allows the reader to see how he fills uncomfortable in what he is wearing and therefore the role that he is performing.

 

In a Shakespearean tragedy, he is known to create a unique tone, or atmosphere to show the darkness that can be found within tragedy. In 'Macbeth', Shakespeare draws upon the design of the witches, the guilt in Macbeth's soul, as well as the darkness of the night to establish the intensity of a tragedy and thus the atmosphere.

 

All of the remarkable scenes take place at night or in some dark spot; for instance, the vision of the dagger, the murder of Duncan, the Murder of Banquo, and Lady Macbeth's sleep walking. Darkness, specifically in Shakespearean terms, is the time when the traveler hastens to reach safety in his inn, when Banquo rides homeward to meet his assassins; furthermore, it is the time when the wolf howls, the owl screams, and when murder steals forth to his work. In 'Macbeth' darkness symbolizes many things. First, and most important, it stands for the evil and death in the play. The darkness could partially blind out all of the horrible things that occur in the night and thus they become secretive and even more dangerous then if the same action is committed during the day. Secondly, the darkness shows one of Lady Macbeth's weaknesses: her fear of the dark. In the play, phrases of fear escape from lips even in her sleep. She believes darkness to be the...

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