Night: A Herald Of Things To Come.

1259 words - 5 pages

Macbeth, a dark tragedy written by one of the greatest playwrights of all time, William Shakespeare, is a play that explores the anatomy of guilt and the events that cause it. When Macbeth and his wife conspire to commit a horrible murder, the reader sets out on a journey to discover the inner workings of the human soul and the elements of the very life that each and every person who has ever committed a deed even half so terrible lives. But why is this journey so vivid, so familiar? Shakespeare, throughout the play chooses to use a common image over and over again. This image is night, the harbinger of evil and its consequences. The night motif in Macbeth parallels the discovery of evil deeds, which in turn leads to retribution.Early in the play, night resembles a conspirator to Macbeth and his wife's crime and even the evil of the crime itself. Throughout Act I, the night is used as a tool utilized to aid in planning (and in some cases, carrying out) wicked misdeeds by not only Macbeth and his wife, but the so-called weird sisters as well. The first of these witches tells a tale of how she is to torment a sailor who is away from his wife. She speaks of the planned torture, in which she will use the night as an accomplice to rob the sailor of his sleep, saying, "I'll drain him dry as hay. / Sleep shall neither night nor day / Hang upon his penthouse lid." In the first act, night seems to be quite a frequenter of such cruel deeds, for later on in the act, Lady Macbeth, a harsh and purposeful woman of wrath, pleads with it for aid. She has realised that her husband is destined to be king and that there is only one method of achieving that ambitious fate: the murder of the real king, Duncan, who is to be a visitor of their house that very night. She entreats the night and its spirits to "...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!'" She wishes for the night to transform itself into a wicked and appalling creature so that it might hide her deeds from all eyes of the world, even from those of heaven. In Act II, the word night is used, for the most part, specifically in reference to the night of Duncan's murder. Before the murder of Duncan is committed, Banquo speaks of the previous night, in which he dreamt of his meeting with the three witches of fate. In this meeting, the witches had foretold to Macbeth that he would become the king. This portend was what lead to the planning of Duncan's murder. However, after the murder is committed, the word night is not used at all but to tell of how terrible the night of this murder was. Lennox speaks of the night's unruliness, as does Macbeth, an old man tells of how uncharacteristically dreadful and horrific the night was, and Ross speaks of how night and its evil has somehow extinguished the good of day. In all of these, the night is viewed as an evil, bad, and dreadful creature.About...

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