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Images And Imagery In Macbeth Essay

1028 words - 4 pages

Imagery in Macbeth

 
    Darkness, disorder, mayhem, fear, guilt, and hypocrisy are all important themes carried throughout William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" by the effective use of imagery in reference to ill-fitting clothing, blood, and light verses dark. Imagery in this play tiptoes its way though every scene to create a malevolent atmosphere of shame and false pretenses.

 

The contrast between light and dark during "Macbeth" clearly relates to the conflict between good and evil. Darkness is used throughout the play to create a desolate and disturbed atmosphere filled with disarray. Darkness is always prominent during murders and tragic events. When Macbeth realizes that Malcolm is named heir in act 1, scene 4, by the king, Macbeth becomes enveloped in jealousy and says, "Let not light see my black and deep desires" (I.IV.57-58). He hopes that darkness will hide his deepest desires. When Macbeth and Lady Macbeth discuss the murder of Duncan, Lady Macbeth calls on evil to wrap itself around her in a blanket of darkness so that she would not be suspected in the lines, "Come, thick night, /And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell," (I.V.53-54). The morning after Duncan was murdered; Scotland remained in darkness and obscurity. The events that involve immoral acts by characters are continuously done in the presence of darkness. Therefore, one can conclude that evil and death is demonstrated throughout "Macbeth" with the company of darkness. Light, conversely signifies all things good and sane during the play. Within the whole drama, the sun only seems to shine twice: Act 1, scene 6, where Duncan and most other characters are sitting in a serene area in front of the castle, all are in high spirits and the king is brimming with good wishes. The second occurrence of the sun takes place at the end of the play when Macbeth's disengaged head is mounted on a pole and the people of Scotland rejoice the wane of evil. In both appearances, light imagery is used by Shakespeare to create an uplifting, content atmosphere to ensure that the audience clearly identifies that all is well in the specific scenes. The imagery created by the use of darkness and light contributes to the ambiance used to set an appropriate and effective setting to engage and elucidate the mood for the audience during "Macbeth".

 

As well as light and dark imagery, blood imagery is utilized by William Shakespeare to assist the reader to recognize and become aware of the character changes occurring within Macbeth's personality. The imagery created by blood evolves throughout the play and is parallel to the changes Macbeth goes through. During the first battle scene, Duncan and Macbeth see a fallen soldier. Duncan refers to the soldier as a "bloody man" (I.II.2). In this context, the work "blood" is spoken in a way that reflects bravery, exulting the soldier who sacrificed his life...

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