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Beneath the visible action of the Play is a Pattern of imagery, which gives “Macbeth” its special atmosphere. Explain and Identify some of Shakespeare's Imagery in the play

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8th May 2002 Coursework Beneath the visible action of the Play is a Pattern of imagery, which gives "Macbeth" Its special atmosphere. Identify and explain Some of Shakespeare's imagery in the play. In the play 'Macbeth' Shakespeare uses many words and phrases which have more than one meaning. The first meaning is the simple bit that we can read as text of the play, it is called the surface meaning. The second meaning is about the phrase or word, and why it is used. This helps us read into the play and find imagery that Shakespeare has used. Throughout all of Shakespeare's plays he uses imagery to conjure up emotionally charged mental pictures, to captivate and interest the reader or viewer. Throughout the play Shakespeare makes reference to babies and children. In act 1 sc3 Macbeth says to Banquo "Your children shall be kings" This immediately tells us that children in the book may convey power and dominance as future kings or children who pose a threat to Macbeth later on in the play, as his ambition is to be King. In act 3 sc3 Macbeth hires murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. The murderers manage to kill Banquo, but not his son (Fleance). ...read more.


The word 'blood' occurs frequently throughout the play. In the play blood symbolises guilt, and regret for the actions taken by characters in the play. In act 1 sc2 there is a strong influence on blood and how it can be seen in different ways "Which smoked with bloody execution" This is right after Macbeth has been in battle. It can be seen in two ways, one it shows the good and brave Macbeth and how he sheds blood in order to serve his king and country, and two it shows the early stages of Macbeth's lust to kill, and his triumph of shedding blood on the battlefield. In act 2 sc2 (the murder of Duncan) Macbeth says "Will all Neptune's Ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?" This means that Macbeth cannot get the blood off his hands, and in other words, he can never get rid of the guilt of killing Duncan. It also shows that Macbeth has killed once and can now kill again as he fights his way to the throne. Lady Macbeth then says "My hands are of your colour, but I shame to wear a heart so white" This tells us that her hands are clean, but her heart is not, because in her heart she knows what has happened to Duncan, and she knows that she could of prevented it if she had not spurred on Macbeth's dream of being king. ...read more.


In act 3 sc2 he says "Good things of day begin to droop and drowse, while night's black agents to their preys do rouse" This shows that Macbeth also thinks the same way as Lady Macbeth showing that he also believes that bad things happen at night, and therefore he can get away with it, and not feels the guilt of doing it in daylight (in front of god). Light only really shines once in the play, and that is when Macbeth is killed. This shows the end of the darkness (evil) and the beginning of light (good) again. There are many more images that Shakespeare uses throughout his plays, this imagery was chosen because the images portrayed them make the play more shocking and interesting. The fact that Macbeth was not worried about killing anyone (including women and children) just so he could be king, and the fact that blood was also a link with killing innocent people, led to the downfall of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The imagery of Darkness and light symbolises the evil in the play and shows that all the bad things occur under the cover of darkness. Shakespeare uses imagery in the play to help people interpret his work in many different ways; this is one of the many reasons why Shakespeare's writing has become so famous. ...read more.

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