Imagery in Macbeth

Topics: Macbeth, Good and evil, Malcolm III of Scotland Pages: 2 (574 words) Published: March 18, 2011
Imagery in Macbeth

One of British literature’s most eerie settings is found in William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, which deals with the theme of good versus evil and the results of when power and ambition get totally out of control. In order to create the necessary macabe setting for the performance, the playwright uses certain gothic elements. In other words, in Macbeth, the aura of darkness, deception, and horror that envelope the entire play is evoked by the visual imagery throughout the five acts.

The imagery of evil is conveyed through out the play with the use of many elements, one of which is nature. In the first scene of the play the three witches are talking when the first witch asks: "When shall we three meet again?  In thunder, lightning, or in rain?" (1.1.1). This is a good example of the imagery of evil being conveyed through nature to create a dark and ominous setting. Later on, the Captain is talking with Duncan and Malcolm when he states "Ship wrecking storms and direful thunders break" (1.2.26). Again nature contributes to the ominous atmosphere of the play, having reference to thunder and dark storms. Lastly, after the murder of Duncan, Ross and the Old Man talk of strange happenings outside of the castle. They talk of an eclipse, a hawk eaten by an owl, and that Duncan’s horses had eaten each other. These are all very odd occurrences in nature that work together to symbolize the murder of King Duncan. Shakespeare’s tragedy of Macbeth does very well in utilizing the element of nature to effectively create a dark and evil tone and setting.

Another element in the play that helps to create the imagery of evil is the darkness of night. All of the evil deeds committed in the play are done under the curtain of night; for instance, the vision of the dagger, the murder of Duncan, the Murder of Banquo, and Lady Macbeth's sleep walking. It shows that the darkness could partially blind out all of the horrible things that...
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