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Discuss the use of imagery in Shakespeare's Macbeth.

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English Coursework Discuss the use of imagery in Shakespeare's Macbeth Many of Shakespeare's plays are renowned for their use of imagery. Macbeth is no different. Shakespeare uses imagery in Macbeth to good effect. He uses it to reveal various characters' thoughts, feelings and worries throughout the play. He uses imagery with areas such as blood. Blood is an important symbol within the play. It is frequently mentioned and is extremely symbolic within Macbeth. Blood symbolizes bravery, strength, evil, death, treachery and murder. Another area imagery is used within is light and dark. Light and dark can be used to show good and evil, life and death, day and night etc. Shakespeare also refers to the area of strange occurrences in nature within the play. After our meeting with the witches at the very beginning of the play, we are immediately introduced to the idea of blood. The first character we meet is a bleeding Sergeant. This just sets the scene for the rest of the play, where blood is mentioned very often and there are many incidences where we meet the idea of blood. ...read more.


This shows the murder has changed Macbeth's character. Macbeth no longer feels ambitious; he now feels guilt and remorse. Macbeth says that not even all the water in the ocean will wash the blood off his hands, because he realizes he has done something terribly evil. The theme of blood continues after Macbeth has just seen the ghost of the murdered Banquo at his feast. Macbeth seems shocked and has to be taken back to his room by Lady Macbeth. He tells Lady Macbeth before he goes to sleep, "All causes shall give way: I am in blood stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o'er." Here Macbeth is saying that he has done so much wrong, that there would be no point in going back, he would still be found out. He is therefore forced to kill more and more people in order to keep control of the throne. ...read more.


When Macbeth does not get this opportunity, he realizes what he must do if he were to be king, he must kill Duncan. "Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires; The eye wink at hand; yet let that be which the eye fears, when it is done, to see" Macbeth wants the impossible. He wants the stars to go out, so that no one can see what he wants, not even himself. The light symbolizes other people who might be around at the time of the murder and see him commit the crime. He wants the stars to hide their fires because this means that no moonlight will show through at night and therefore it will be pitch black. This means that Macbeth can commit the murder without anyone knowing. He wants his own eye to blink when he commits the crime. He wants himself to be blinded from his actions but he still wants to kill Duncan. He says that even after he has killed Duncan, he would be afraid to see what he has done. ...read more.

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