Use of Night and Darkness in Macbeth

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Use of Night and Darkness in Macbeth

Darkness was often associated with evil and crime in the play Macbeth. In William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, description of darkness had symbolic significance. The murders that were seen frequently occur at night time. This makes the reader conclude that the most horrible crimes are committed in darkness. The play Macbeth was abundant with examples that describe the use of night and darkness to show evil and happenings that are immoral. Darkness also played a vital role in the development of the plot and the characters. Shakespeare’s use of night and darkness to show the evil forces of nature was first witnessed in the appearance of the three witches. The witch sisters are the main source of evil within the play of Macbeth. When the witches are performing their charms, storm or the darkness of the woods always accompanies them: "Thunder and lightning, Enter three witches."

This is how the three witches are introduced. This shows their evil nature as they are followed by rough storms in dark conditions. "Fair is foul and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air."
There was another description of the disgusting and dirty, dark atmosphere around the witches. Then towards the end of Hecate’s speech, she says, "Hark! I am called. My little spirit, see: Sits a foggy cloud and it stays for me." These quotations showed a clear mental picture of the fogy, ugly conditions prominent, when the witches were present. So this is a very good example of Shakespeare being able to link darkness and stormy conditions with evil. The second example of Shakespeare writing techniques to show evil as darkness was the number of murders and when they occurred. Murders were often committed at night to further symbolize the darkness. Murder being the source of evil and the connection to darkness. King Duncan was murdered while sleeping in his chamber at Macbeth’s castle. Macbeth afterwards says: “Glamis hath...
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