Macbeth Imagery

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William Shakespeare integrates imagery in Macbeth, in order to emphasize evil themes and to add creative attributes. The two passages, "Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires," (1.4.57-58) and "A dagger of the mind, a false creation proceeding from the heat oppressed brain," (2.1.50-51) tie together through illusion to portray the critical elements of darkness and desire. The theme of desire accentuates itself through the image of darkness and is especially significant within the first two acts of the play. Macbeth's character gradually changes once he hears the witches' prophecy which indicates that he is to become the Thane of Cawdor and a King. Darkness is a recurring image that reflects aspiration, wickedness, and secrecy. Although darkness reflects key attributes within, it underscores enigmatic malevolence. When Duncan, the King of Scotland, announces that his son, Malcolm will be his successor as the new king, Macbeth becomes concerned and anxious. He subsequently whispers to himself, "Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires," (1.4.57-58) as a way to express his ambition. He believes that the only way to become king is to kill Duncan. Even though stars cannot realistically hide their "fires", Macbeth's illusion reflects how utter darkness can conceal his cruel aspirations of assassination. Light represents society and Macbeth depends on darkness to cover his secret identity. Also, Macbeth meets the witches during the night-time, when the atmosphere is obscure and gloomy. The night is a suitable time for the witches to prophesy because the darkness establishes an evil, secretive environment. Macbeth discusses the witch's prophecy with Banquo, a Scottish noble who states that "The Instruments of darkness tells us truth" (1.3.136). Banquo refers to the power of the evil witches. For example, the witches approach Macbeth and Banquo during the night and state their future; Macbeth is to become the Thane...
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