Imagery and Symbols in Macbeth
Shakespeare uses many forms of imagery in his plays. Imagery, the art of making images, the products of imagination. In the play Macbeth Shakespeare applies the imagery of clothing, darkness and blood. Each detail in his imagery contains an important symbol of the play. These symbols need to be understood in order to interpret the entire play.
Within the play `Macbeth' the imagery of clothing portrays that Macbeth is seeking to hide his "disgraceful self" from his eyes and others. . Shakespeare wants to keep alive the contrast between the pitiful creature that Macbeth really is and the disguises he assumes to conceal the fact. Macbeth is constantly represented symbolically as the wearer of robes not belonging to him. He is wearing an undeserved dignity, which is a point well made by the uses of clothing imagery. The description of the purpose of clothing in Macbeth is the fact that these garments are not his. Therefore, Macbeth is uncomfortable in them because he is continually conscious of the fact that they do not belong to him. In the following passage, the idea constantly reappears, Macbeth's new honors sit ill upon him, like loose and badly fitting garments, belonging to someone else:
New honors come upon him
Like strange garments,
Cleave not to their mould
But with the aid of use (I, iii, 144-145)
This passage is clearly demonstrating that Macbeth cannot fit in these garments. They are not meant to and the clothing imagery is therefor effective.
The second form of imagery used to add to the atmosphere is the imagery of darkness. Macbeth, a Shakespearean tragedy contains and demonstrates the darkness in a tragedy. In the play, the design of the witches, the guilt in Macbeth's soul and the darkness of the night establish 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 symbolizes many things such as evil and death in the play. Thus is evident when Macbeth calls on night to come so that he...