Macbeth - Imagery

Topics: Macbeth / Pages: 8 (1835 words) / Published: Oct 9th, 1999
If a picture tells a thousand words, than imagine the importance of an image upon a play as short as Macbeth. In any literary work, it is extremely important that the author can effectively manipulate a reader's feelings towards a character. In Macbeth, that feat is accomplished magnificently by Shakespeare. Through his skillful use of imagery, Shakespeare shows us a deeper look into the true character of Macbeth. Though imagery is widespread throughout Macbeth, it is most dominant in clothing imagery, light and darkness imagery, and blood imagery. Through these images, Shakespeare shows the development of Macbeth's character.

Using clothing imagery, Shakespeare develops Macbeth's character. This is evident, as, imagery of clothing shows us Macbeth's ambition, and the consequences thereof. We see this ambition, through Banquo, when he says, "New honors come upon him, / Like our strange garments, cleave not to the / mould" (Shakespeare, Macbeth I, III, 144-146 ), meaning that new clothes do not fit our bodies, until we are accustomed to them. Throughout the entire play, Macbeth is constantly wearing new clothes (titles), that are not his, and that do not fit. Hence, his ambition. This ambition, as we see, is what leads to his demise. When Macbeth first hears the prophecy that he will be King, he does not see how it can be so, "to be king / Stands not within the prospect of belief" ( I, III, 73-74). However, Macbeth's ambitious nature becomes visible when he considers murdering King Duncan to claim the throne, "If it were done, when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well / It were done quickly" ( I, VII, 1-2). His ambition is encouraged by Lady Macbeth, of whom attempts to convince him to commit this crime, and lay claim to the throne. He is reluctant however, as Macbeth states, "I have bought / Golden opinions from all sorts of people, / Which would be worn now in their newest gloss, / Not cast aside so soon" ( I, VII, 32-35). Macbeth compares being recently named the Thane

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