Write an analysis of the imagery of MacbethMacbeth is a story based on death and jealousy. Shakespeare was a talented writer who made his main ideas constant throughout the play by using images to emphasise this in a different way. I have found that the main images in Macbeth are ambition, clothing, chaos, dark and light blood and sleep.
These all help to create an atmosphere and make the main idea of the story stronger.The main theme that runs constantly through the play is chaos. You can see this right at the start of the play as in the first scene the witches chant ‘fair is foul and foul is fair’ this is a paradox, which sets the tone. This means things that appear bad could be good and visa versa. Another aspect of the first scene is the dangerous animals they use like snakes, toads and birds of pray, this sets a threatening atmosphere right at the beginning that runs constantly throughout. Another main aspect of chaos is time. With people running about and events which happen so quickly they don’t stop and think which leads to chaos.
Macbeth is constantly in a hurry, spurred on by his strong ambition, he therefore makes more and more mistakes.The chaos that occurs springs mainly from ambition, not just form Macbeth but the other characters too. This play is all about getting your own way and bettering your situation.
You can see this when Lady Macbeth and the witches persuade Macbeth to murder the king. At first he is unwilling but being told of what would happen if he did, finally gives in to this temptation. Temptation is all part of ambition because to get what you want, you try and find the easiest way to get there. Macbeth’s ambition to be king ends in disaster and he loses everything even his life. This is a running theme right through the play and the message is if you let your ambition overcome what you think is right it will end in disaster. Moving away from the mental themes there are physical things that are hidden but add drama to the scene without the audience realising it.
One of these is day and night. light and dark is a hidden way of bringing across the message of good and evil in the scenes. Light represents innocence and purity in the play whilst dark, evil and cruelty. In the beginning king Duncan says nobility is like the stars this is reference to light being a sign of truth. If this is the case lady Macbeth and Macbeth are both deep in darkness.
At the end of the play lady Macbeth is overcome with guilt and is scared of darkness and keeps a candle by her, she wants to be pure again. Lady Macbeth calls up the blackest smoke of hell to overcome her, this is a sign of dark being evil and light a sign of innocence.The day and night carry this idea through. At the beginning of the play the bad scenes were set in the dark whilst in the daytime people were happy. The darkness brings fear and murder.Another issue connected to innocence is sleep. To sleep naturally and peaceful is a symbol of feeling no guilt and being pure.
After Duncan murder he describes it as him “murdering sleep” he is tormented by nightmares. Later in the story lady Macbeth feels overwhelming guilt about the murder and sleep walks re-enacting the deed.The previous themes can be picked out at different scenes but the overlying atmosphere is of evil. The play is totally based on evil and jealousy. This is started in the first scenes as the three witches super natural forces tempt Macbeth to perform all these deeds. This plunges Scotland into chaos. These events happen over an unknown amount of time.
During the play you can never tell if the next scene is the next day or week, but time comes into the play a lot. Throughout the play Macbeth always mentions time. Before the murder of the king in act 2 scene 2, Macbeth says “on the banked shores of time” this means being in between his dull past and his future as king, a turning point. The sounding of the bell is a cue for Duncan’s murder meaning that things have to be timed well or they won’t work.Due to these murders Macbeth fulfils his ambition to become king but he does not feel right wearing clothing that “doesn’t fit” This means he does not deserve to be king and wear his clothes.
People earn the rights to wear robes and rich clothing, Macbeth has murdered his way to this status, and he does not deserve it. These are the main themes of the play and images such as candles represent the light and knives represent ambition. They keep a flowing reminder of what the play is about.
Write an analysis of the imagery of MacbethMacbeth is a story based on death and jealousy. Shakespeare was a talented writer who made his main ideas constant throughout the play by using images to emphasise this in a different way..