Major Themes Expressed Through Imagery In Shakespeare's 'macbeth'.

1230 words - 5 pages

In Shakespeare's Macbeth, major themes are shown through imagery. Recurring images such as sleep, blood, animals, light and darkness are used to conjure up vivid mental images in audience's imagination and to reveal the characters' emotions. The images also help in characterisation and make the reader more interested in the story. But just as importantly, these images are also used to show the audience the main themes of the play.In Macbeth, light and darkness imagery show the theme, good verses evil and is used numerous times in the play. The audience can see that Macbeth becomes more evil as the play progresses. This change can also be seen through how he reacts to darkness. Before the murder of Duncan, Macbeth says, "Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires" (Shakespeare, Macbeth 1.4.51-52). Later on in the novel, when he plans to kill Banquo and Fleance he welcomes the darkness so that the murder can take place: "Come seeling night, scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day" (3.2.46-47). The growing evil in Macbeth can be seen through his acceptance of the darkness. There are also parts in the play when the witches who personify evil are described as being creatures of the night. Macbeth describes them as "secret, black, midnight hags" (4.1.47) and "instruments of darkness" (1.3.122). After the murder of Duncan, Ross and the Old Man talk about how the night "strangle[d] the travelling lamp" (2.4.7). Evil is prevailing over good after the death of Duncan. Later on in the play, when Macbeth asks Lady Macbeth what time it is, she replies that the night is "almost at odds with morning" (3.4.126). Both examples are ways that Shakespeare shows the conflict between good and evil. Darkness is linked with death as well. On the night of the murder of Duncan, Banquo and Fleance observed that "the moon is down" and that "there's husbandry in heaven, all the candles are out". Banquo's murder also occurred at night. The light and dark imagery foreshadow events. The audience can sense that something evil will occur when the characters speak of darkness or when the scene is set at night-time. Because the audience knows something evil is going to happen, the scene's suspense builds up. The reader will also wonder about whether good will ever prevail against evil and become more interested in the plot. The light and dark imagery give the audience a clear picture of the conflict between good and evil, which captivates the audience.Blood imagery shows the important theme of guilt. When Lady Macbeth and Macbeth murder Duncan, they have a discussion about blood. Macbeth sees his bloody hands and wonders if "all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous sea incarnate, making the green one red" (2.2.60-63). This shows his strong feelings of his guilty conscience. Lady Macbeth responds by saying that "A little water clears us of this deed" (2.2.77). Ironically, near the end of the...

Find Another Essay On Major themes expressed through imagery in Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'.

Images and Imagery in Shakespeare's Macbeth

975 words - 4 pages Imagery in Macbeth      In Shakespeare's tragic play, Macbeth, the use of imagery is connected with character development as well as theme throughout the play.            From the beginning of the play the image of darkness is introduced.  Darkness was called upon by Banquo, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.  Banquo, in his aside to Macbeth says,   But tis strange and oftentimes, to win us to our harm, /the instruments of

Blood Imagery in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

941 words - 4 pages in a fight to the death with Macduff eventually emerging victorious. When Macduff, mentions blood, it speaks to justified bloodshed, and revenge.Shakespeare uses this blood imagery to enhance the audience's understanding of Macbeth's character. The audience has now witnessed the complete transformation of Macbeth. He begins as a noble, just and brave person, to becoming evil, ambitious, and treacherous during Duncan's murder, to his final feelings of remorse for his crime and finally, to the realization that he will be punished for his sins.

Supernatural Imagery Depicted in Shakespeare's Macbeth

649 words - 3 pages Shakespeare uses the supernatural in many different forms during the course of Macbeth to create an atmosphere and add drama, tension and interest to the story. Many of the supernatural images which appear in the play are based on the beliefs and superstitions of those around Shakespeare’s time who would have gone to see his plays. The theme of supernatural forces and beings occurs at many different points during the play, allowing a common

Imagery of Blood in William Shakespeare's Play Macbeth

1066 words - 4 pages Imagery of Blood in William Shakespeare's Play Macbeth In the play Macbeth , William Shakespeare uses blood as a symbol throughout the whole story to show the different emotions and themes within the context of the play. It’s a bit ironic for someone whose name means “the son of life” that he has to take so many lives instead of being a father to the people he was trying to rule. The play refers to blood in three key points to create great

Light and Dark Imagery Depicted in Shakespeare's Macbeth

680 words - 3 pages such as when in Lady Macbeth’s soliloquy she asks ‘come thick night / and pall thee … through the blanket of the dark.’ Lady Macbeth is portrayed with sinister intent after she is taken over by evil spirits and she asks them to; ‘Come you spirits / that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here.’ ~Act 1, Scene 5~ After this, Lady Macbeth is seen as possessed by these same spirits; this can be interpreted as the reason she drives Macbeth to

Analysis of Major Characters in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1280 words - 5 pages Analysis of Major Characters in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Macbeth ======= Because we first hear of Macbeth in the wounded captain's account of his battlefield valor, our initial impression is of a brave and capable warrior. This perspective is complicated, however, once we see Macbeth interact with the three witches. We realize that his physical courage is joined by a consuming ambition and a tendency to

The Images and Imagery of Shakespeare's Macbeth

3198 words - 13 pages of Macbeth. Malcolm declares his intention of facing the future as king of Scotland with the help of God; he says that   by the grace of Grace, We will perform in measure, time and place: So, thanks to all at once and to each one, Whom we invite to see us crown'd at Scone. (5.8)   Lily B. Campbell in her volume of criticism, Shakespeare's Tragic Heroes: Slaves of Passion, describes how the imagery contributes to the

In the following essay, I will examine the development of Plath's poetry through analysis of major themes and imagery found in her description of landscapes, seascapes, and the natural world.

6579 words - 26 pages Sylvia Plath's Psychic LandscapesIn the following essay, I will examine the development of Plath's poetry through analysis of major themes and imagery found in her description of landscapes, seascapes, and the natural world.Following the lead of Ted Hughes, critics today tend to read Sylvia Plath's poetry as a unity. Individual poems are best read in the context of the whole oeuvre: motifs, themes and images link poems together and these

A Critical Analysis on the Imagery in Act II of Shakespeare's Macbeth.

1181 words - 5 pages deeper insight into his major themes which are evil, guilt and remorse, and chaos and disorder. These themes are intertwined throughout the entire play, however for a thorough analysis of Shakespeare's imagery, it is sufficient to take a closer look at Act 2 of Macbeth.Macbeth is a confused man, who falters in thought about whether or not to murder King Duncan. A question to ponder throughout the play is, 'whether or not Macbeth is an evil man

How attitudes to love are expressed through poetry? An analysis of similar themes between different poets (Shakespeare, E.Nest, Christian Walsh).

1512 words - 6 pages , E.Nesbit conveys his attitude to love through the Petrachan form. Whilst E.Nesbit is writing about a lady living in her fantasy, Shakespeare's is more of the contrary. In his poem, the speaker describes the perfect woman; although his preferences were highly unconventional during that period of time. "My mistresses eye are nothing like the sun...black wires grow on her head." The speaker went against the conventional expectations that the ideal

An examination of Shakespeare's Portrayal of the Capitulation of Othello through imagery and language.

781 words - 3 pages play Othello effectively counteracts such accusations that he is bestial, through his own imagery. His language is exotic and extraordinary in ways that excite and fascinate. His sentences are elegantly constructed; his command of balance, sound and rhythm is sophisticated. Othello ostentatiously and eloquently makes his point that he is "rude...in[his] speech".Shakespeare portrays Othello's control vividly through his speech defending his marriage

Similar Essays

Imagery In Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

1091 words - 4 pages writing the play Macbeth, Shakespeare created an atmosphere around the characters and the overall setting of the play, with his use of massive amounts of imagery in Macbeth. Lightness and darkness are major examples of Shakespeare’s use of imagery in Macbeth. Often while Lady Macbeth is walking around, a candle is referred to as floating above her, as if the soft glowing light will keep the darkness at bay while she commits her acts of violence

Supernatural Imagery In Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

846 words - 3 pages Supernatural Imagery in Shakespeare's Macbeth In William Shakespeare's Macbeth, imagery plays a key role in the audience's understanding of the theme of the play. One type of imagery that is prevalent in the story is supernatural or unnatural imagery. With the sense of the supernatural and interference of the spirits, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are led to dangerous, tempting things. Macbeth's character changes dramatically from the brave

Sleep Imagery In Shakespeare's Macbeth To Develop Themes Innocence, Nature And Guilt.

736 words - 3 pages . Sleep imagery in Macbeth is used to develop the theme of innocence, nature, conscience and guilt and reinforces the images of night, darkness, and evil.Sleep is a symbol of innocence and goodness, one of the main themes in the play. Since Macbeth has done a deed of great evil, murdering Duncan, Macbeth is no longer innocent. And hence he is no longer allowed to sleep. Macbeth also realizes this himself after the murder and says, "[Macbeth] has

The Major Themes In William Shakespeare's Othello

1370 words - 5 pages The Major Themes in William Shakespeare's Othello Irony and double meaning are the basis and patterns of Othello, in which nothing is what it seems to be; white is black and generally the characters and themes have contradictory aspects. Irony is one of the characteristics of tragedy as the outcome, although inevitable, is unfair. In Act 1 scene 1, Shakespeare sets up the main themes of: jealousy, revenge, xenophobia