In Macbeth, an aura of darkness, deception, and horror can be seen throughout the play and is evoked by the imagery set within. There are four dominant themes of imagery in this play: darkness, blood, nature, and the supernatural. All these forms of imagery contribute to the atmosphere in the tragedy of this play.
The use of darkness in the imagery of this tragedy has a great affect on the atmosphere and the impression set on the audience. Darkness portrays mystery, calmness, and sometimes even death. It also helps create suspense and interest in the audience. Under the cover of darkness with everyone asleep Macbeth kills the king, Duncan. The atmosphere would be very dark, quiet, and still. Macbeth would sneak into the king’s room and kill him. This adds to the atmosphere of the play by creating a setting in which a murder would most likely occur – under the “cover” of darkness Macbeth is able to kill Duncan without raising any awareness of his act. (2.2 10-15) Another instance in which darkness plays an important role was during the murder of Banquo. Darkness conceals the murderers, and later creates horror, mystery, and suspense. Complete darkness over takes the scene when the only source of light, a burning torch held by Banquo’s son, is dropped. (3.3 7, 14, 19-21) With the darkness comes the death of Duncan. His son, who symbolizes the last hope, manages to get away when his father is murdered. The darkness sets an atmosphere of lost hope and a realization of a coming murder. The lit torch that was held by the son and his survival in this scene still leaves a trace of hope. The darkness in the atmosphere makes greater the visual experience of the audience.
Throughout the play the presence of blood is very abundant. From the very beginning where Macbeth is in battle, he stabs and slices a man in two with his sword. (1.2 7-22) Also, throughout the play the blood of Duncan stains the hands of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. (2.2 58-64) By the... [continues]
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