This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Images Of Night And Sleep In Macbeth By William Shakespeare

2260 words - 9 pages

Images of Night and Sleep in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

The Shakespearean work Macbeth is a dramatic tragedy. It is a serious
play that represents the disastrous downfall of its central character,
Macbeth. In this tragedy there are many terrible acts of bloodthirsty,
premeditated violence. Many of these gruesome acts happen at night.
These incidents of tragedy have a major affect on the main characters
and their actions. Macbeth also contains many images of sleep. As the
play unfolds, the nature of sleep changes for the characters who act
during the night. The use of sleep and the night play three
significant roles in this play: evil things happen at night, sleep is
portrayed as naturally good and innocent, and sleep is thus altered
due to the evil acts that occur at night.

In the play Macbeth, many acts of evil and deception happen during the
night. The murders of Duncan and Banquo occur at night. As Lady
Macbeth plans the death of Duncan, she calls upon the night in her
opening soliloquy: "Come, thick night,/ And pall thee in the dunnest
smoke of hell,/ That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,/ Nor
heaven peep through the blanket of the dark/ To cry "Hold, hold""
(1.5.57-61). They plan the murder at night because she hopes it will
cover up the murder of the King and so that no one will see them. She
believes the night will hide from heaven the wounds that she and her
husband are about to inflict on Duncan. Lennox and Macduff come the
next morning to wake Duncan. As Macduff leaves the stage to wake
Duncan, Lennox and Macbeth begin to talk. Lennox describes last night
saying, 'The night has been unruly. Where we lay,/ Our chimneys were
blown down and, as they say,/ Lamentings heard I' th' air, strange
screams of/ death, . . . The obscure bird/ Clamored the livelong
night. Some say the earth/ Was feverous and did shake" (2.3.61-69). It
seems that during the night just past, a number of unnatural events
occurred. Evil deeds committed during the night result in chaos for
society the next morning. Thus, it is obvious that the killing of
Duncan disrupts order in the kingdom. As a result of Duncan being
murdered, there is now a civil war being fought in Scotland. Banquo's
murder also takes place during night. Once again Macbeth hopes the
darkness of the night will disguise the killing of Banquo saying,
"Come, seeling night,/ Scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day"
(3.2.52-53). Macbeth feels that this act can't occur during the day
because the eye of compassionate nature will see it; therefore he
needs the night to blind the eyes. He also relies on the night to
block out the possibility of some person seeing the murderers. As the
time approaches for Banquo's scheduled return to Dunsinane, the
audience expects the arrival of night: "Light thickens; and the crow/
Makes...

Find Another Essay On Images of Night and Sleep in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Images of Blood in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1214 words - 5 pages Images of Blood in William Shakespeare's Macbeth   In Shakespeare?s tragic play Macbeth, the symbol of blood is portrayed often and with different meanings. Blood as a symbol is developed throughout the play until it becomes the dominating theme. Perhaps the best way to show how the symbol of blood changes throughout the play is to follow the character changes in Macbeth. First he is a brave honored soldier, but as the play

Macbeth By William Shakespeare, Influence of the witches and supernatural in Macbeth

1024 words - 4 pages supernatural. However, countless audiences since then, who have been able to suspend their disbelief of these elements for a few hours are treated to an infinitely more powerful, entertaining play.MLA Citation:"Supernatural Elements in Macbeth by Shakespeare." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Oct 2008."Macbeth" By William Shakespeare

Security In "Macbeth" by William Shakespeare: The downfalls of Duncan, Banquo and Macbeth

569 words - 2 pages hill and he is killed by Macduff, who was born by Caesarean section. Macbeth's overconfidence blinded him from the bold truth, that we are all mortal and was killed for it.In this particular story, Shakespeare used a few distinct types of overconfidence. Duncan has his confidence in other people. Banquo has his in strong friendships. On the contrary, Macbeth had his all invested in himself. Despite what kind they each had, they all had a downfall

Viola and Orsino in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

3014 words - 12 pages Viola and Orsino in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare In William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" there are several relationships that develop throughout the play. Among the many characters whose interaction and misunderstanding become the core of the plot, Viola and Orsino have the most significant relationship. The way they interact with one another causes the complex conflict of the play, and as the conflict comes to

Macbeth, by William Shakespeare

1356 words - 5 pages death of Duncan. He becomes a conduit for evil, a means for evil to wreak its destruction upon all those closest to him. Macbeth becomes “a wolf to man,” (48) as Lance Morrow writes. “Evil is a disease,” (Morrow 51) William James once said. As Shakespeare demonstrates in Macbeth, madness evolves from evil, and evil can grow unchecked within madness. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are tempted and charmed by the driving forces of evil. Their own

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

1248 words - 5 pages Macbeth by William Shakespeare Many children are constantly trying to find new ways to entertain themselves. One might suggest that rollerblading as fast as possible and jumping off a deck would be a great possibility for pleasure. Well, this has happened in the past, and the results have mostly been broken bones. Ultimately it’s the choice of the youngster whether to jump or not: the will of the being is the decisive factor. “Every action

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

1629 words - 7 pages Macbeth by William Shakespeare Macbeth, one of William Shakespeare’s famous tragedies, is set in Scotland. Returning from battle with his companion Banquo, the nobleman, Macbeth meets with three witches. They predict that Macbeth will initially become the Thane of Cawdor and then king of Scotland. Macbeth privately has ambitions of being king and enjoys the ideas of becoming the head of the country. After the first part of the witches

"Macbeth" by William Shakespeare

635 words - 3 pages MACBETH ESSAYThroughout Macbeth William Shakespeare uses many symbols to highlight major themes in the play. One of these symbols is blood, and the theme that it reinforces is murder and the fear associated with killing. Many scenes in the play involving murder also have blood mentioned, although not necessarily during the act itself. The use of blood as a symbol is very important when connected to the theme of murder, and is used as a

The Function of Disguise in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

1433 words - 6 pages The Function of Disguise in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare William Shakespeare's play, Twelfth Night is based around disguise and deception, both mental and physical. The deception leads to a lot of misunderstanding and subsequently, a lot of humour. The tale begins in Illyria with the Duke Orsino, who is suffering due to his unrequited love for the Lady Olivia. The Lady is also suffering from the recent loss of

Macbeth, by William Shakespeare

941 words - 4 pages William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is the play which tells the story of a soldier and the disastrous path which he took in pursuit of the throne. Macbeth was a victim of forces beyond his control; they are the witches and Lady Macbeth. The witches create a stimulus for Macbeth to become destructive in his pursuit for the throne. However Macbeth was only persuaded and ready to kill after being influenced by Lady Macbeth. Therefore we can assume that

Function of Disguise in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

1569 words - 6 pages Function of Disguise in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night is a play based around disguise in the form of deception and becoming someone different. In Twelfth Night, disguise takes many different shapes from physical disguise to mental disguise. Disguise is one of the main topics of the play and helps to create the plot. It brings in confusion and comedy as well as the darker and

Similar Essays

Recurring Images In Macbeth By William Shakespeare

671 words - 3 pages .” (3.2.20-24). He will no longer be able to sleep and escape the guilt he feels for murdering Duncan. Lady Macbeth blames Macbeth’s strange behavior on lack of sleep. In reference to defeating Macbeth, the Scottish Lord vows, “we may again / Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights, / Free from our feasts and banquets bloody knives, / Do faithful homage and receive free honors.” (3.6.33-36). Scotland will enjoy the blessing of peaceful sleep once Macbeth is overthrown. Works Cited Shakespeare, William, and John Wilders. Macbeth. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2004. Print.

Stereotypical Images Of Women In Macbeth By Shakespeare

2208 words - 9 pages walked the street of London. Shakespeare’s company performed for the Queen. Indeed, the popular and politic writer can hardly divorce himself from societal concerns. That’s why he in his tragedies had a great impact toward women. The tragedy of Macbeth or Macbeth, considered as a tragic play. It was written by William Shakespeare in 1606 in England. Specifically, it was written in the middle ages, at the eleventh century. In Shakespeare’s tragedy

War And Lust Of Power In Macbeth By William Shakespeare

1007 words - 4 pages Considered one of the darkest and most influential of the tragedies, William Shakespeare’s Macbeth tells of the effects one suffers due to war and the lust for power. Macbeth himself is led to believe that he deserving and destined to become the king of Scotland, and allows his thoughts and actions to become corrupted due to his ambition. While Macbeth loses himself in his conspiracies to murder his king and his friends, the character of Macduff

Parallels Between Macbeth And Satan In Macbeth By William Shakespeare

769 words - 3 pages Parallels Between Macbeth and Satan in Macbeth by William Shakespeare In William Shakespeare's Macbeth, Shakespeare creates parallels between the protagonist, Macbeth, and Satan. Many critics believe Macbeth and Satan share a common thread in their high peaks and low drops. Throughout the play, Macbeth is very much the shadow of Satan in his eminence, ambitions, and consequences. Macbeth mirrors Satan in being the right hand man for his