The Themes of Macbeth

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The Themes of Macbeth
William Shakespeare's plays are full of different types of imagery. Many of these images, or themes, run throughout his entire play at different times. In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses five of these images including nature, paradoxes, manhood, masks, and light versus darkness, to convey his overall message that before a man gives into his desires, he should understand the consequences of doing so.

"Thunder and lightning." This is the description of the scene before Act I, Scene i, Line 1. The thunder and lightning represent disturbances in nature. Most people do not think of a great day being filled with thunder and lightning, and shroud of thunder and lightning surrounds the witches. Also, the first witch asks in Line 2 about the meeting with Macbeth, "In thunder, lightning, or in rain?" The meeting will also be filled with these disturbances. The witches are also surrounded by more unpleasant kinds of weather: "Hover through the fog and filthy air" (Line 11). The weather might personify the witches, meaning that the witches themselves are disturbances, though not limited to nature. The bad weather also might mean that the witches are bad or foul ("filthy air") creatures.

Act II, Scene i takes place on a dark night. Fleance, Banquo's son, says, "The moon is down" (Line 2), and Banquo says, "Their (Heaven's) candles are all out (there are no stars in the sky") (Line 5.) Darkness evokes feelings of evilness, of a disturbance in nature on this fateful night. It creates a perfect scene for the baneful murders.

Another disturbance in nature comes from Macbeth's mouth, "Now o'er the one half-world/ Nature seems dead" (Lines 49-50). This statement might mean that everywhere he looks, the world seems dead and that there is no hope. It might also give him the idea that the murder he will commit will have repercussions spreading far. The doctor says in Act V, Scene 1, Line 10, " A great perturbation in nature," while talking about...
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