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How is an atmosphere of evil created in Macbeth?

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Task: How is an atmosphere of evil created in Macbeth? In my essay I'm going to look at how Shakespeare creates an atmosphere of evil in Macbeth using imagery, characters, and other aspects of the play. Macbeth and Banquo are strong leaders of the Scottish army. Whilst returning from a battle they meet 3 witches. The witches tell a prophecy to the two men. It said that Macbeth would become Thane of Cawdor then King of Scotland and that Banquos sons would be crowned king. Macbeth is made Thane of cawdor and starts to think there is a chance he will be king. When Duncan names his son Malcom as successor, Macbeth realises something has to be done. He sends a letter to Lady Macbeth telling of the prophecies; she is determined to help him become king. She persuades Macbeth to kill the king! When his body is found along with his guards Duncan's sons flee the country. Remembering the prophecy Macbeth hires someone to kill banquo and his sons. Banquo's ghost reappears to haunt Macbeth so returns to the witches. ...read more.


Imagery plays another large part in creating the evil. It is very imaginative and complex to understand. Many statements are repeated throughout the play. The ideas of Macbeth's new role hang like 'a loose and badly fitting garment.' This appears throughout the story. Macbeth says it this just after Ross gives him his new title of Thane of cawdor, just as the witches said he would. When Lady Macbeth joins Macbeth he tells her the prophecies and his plans to kill the king, she is very willing to help him. He gives 3 reasons why he shouldn't kill the king but she is adamant that the deed must be done. Three seems to be a very important number throughout the story. To express these feelings in a soliloquy he continues to use the metaphors about clothes 'Which would be worn now in their newest gloss.' Lady Macbeth still sticks to the clothes imagery when replying 'was the hope drunk wherein you dress'd yourself?' Macduff also mentions clothes in his way of speaking. The imagery of light and dark was used from the very first line. ...read more.


Animals appear throughout the story as symbols. Most of the animals add to the suspense and unpleasantness of the story, animals such as; a nest of scorpions, devouring vulture and the bear tied to the stake fighting savagely to the end. All of which are quite terrifying images if thought about. The build up of characters seems to have a great effect on the impact of the story. Lady Macbeth is a very strong and willing person who will do anything she thinks is possible to make her husband king. She picks on him throughout the story especially when he is having doubts about murdering the king in their house and after the deed is done when he feels so guilty. She makes fun of him saying 'My hands are of your colour; but I shame to wear a heart so white' and 'Be not lost so poorly in your thoughts.' He is very scared of his wife and follows her every command even if it isn't what he wants. A strange character with an air of evil about him is Ross, his intentions throughout the play are never made clear, he seems to be playing a large part in killing Banquo and Fleance but also has a part in the killing of Macbeth. ...read more.

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