Motifs and Characterization in Macbeth

Topics: Macbeth, Good and evil, Light Pages: 3 (979 words) Published: February 28, 2013
The Tragedy of Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, uses various literary elements; among the strongest are motifs and characterizations used to express and symbolize important changes and events throughout the play. Macbeth is a brave and ambitious man full of self-doubt who is driven by evil forces into bad situations. The motif of light and darkness symbolizes the conflict between good and evil. A motif is a significant word, phrase, image, description, idea, or other element repeated throughout a literary work and related to the theme. Manhood is a motif used throughout the play to symbolize the manly and weak sides of people and what qualities people expect a man to have. Blood comes to symbolize guilt and violence. The clothes as titles motif symbolizes the title a person holds in the Kingdom. Characterization is used to explain how each character changes throughout the play and the reasoning behind their actions. Shakespeare also uses characterization to develop his plot. Shakespeare shows that Lady Macbeth is a very ambitious, dominating, and controlling character throughout the play. She is the reason Macbeth decides to kill Duncan. King Duncan is loved by everyone in the Kingdom. He is characterized as praiseworthy, caring, naïve, and trusting. Banquo is characterized as brave, innocent, logical, and full of reason. He is the mastermind behind the murder of King Duncan. Shakespeare uses many motifs throughout the story but he uses a lot of imagery of darkness and light. This is one of the strongest motifs used in the play.

The motif of light and darkness symbolizes the conflict between good and evil. This motif is used to foreshadow when something good or bad is going to happen. It also shows the readers which characters are good and which characters are bad. In this play, darkness stands for evil, bad deeds, and hell. It is always dark when something bad is going to happen like when Lady Macbeth decides to kill Duncan. When...
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