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Imagery Of Appearance and Reality in Macbeth

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Introduction

Imagery Of Appearance and Reality in Macbeth The theme of Appearance and Reality has been discussed already, e.g. we have mentioned that the play is at least partly based on the ides of deception. Examples of imagery here include Lady Macbeth's advice to Macbeth, "look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under't" (Act I,Sc.v) and Macbeth's words, "False face must hide what the false heart doth know." In Act III,Sc.ii, Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth that they are, "Unsafe the while that we Must have our honours in these flattering streams, And make our faces wizards to our hearts, Disguising what they are." In Act I,Sc.iii, when he has been told that he is now Thane of Cawdor, he comments, "nothing is but what is not." After the murder of Duncan, Malcolm whispers to Donalbain, "To show as unfelt sorrow is an office Which the false man does easy." (Act II,Sc.iii) In the following scene Ross tells the Old Man of the strange upset in Nature, "...by the clock 'tis day And yet dark night strangles the travelling lamp (i.e. the sun)." In the Ghost scene (Act III,Sc.iv) Lady Macbeth points out to Macbeth that this Ghost (which she cannot see) is the "very painting of your fear" and "O, these flaws and starts" are just "Impostors of true fear." In Act IV,Sc.iii Malcolm observes to MacDuff, "Angels are bright still, though the brightest fell." He is pointing out that, although people may appear to be virtuous, they may in reality be vicious. Shadow Imagery When he hears of the death of Lady Macbeth, (Act V,Sc.vi), Macbeth uses the image of the shadow to describe life. A shadow is an imitation of reality and he possibly means that he has been cheated by a life that promised so much. These are just a few examples of this imagery which is often associated with dramatic irony. ...read more.

Middle

light and darkness imagery, sleep imagery. Like all the other imagery it is a live part of the play. Plant Imagery A feature of Nature imagery is the regular use of the plant image. In Act I,Sc.iii, Banquo asks the Witches to "look into the seeds of time, And say which grain will grow and which will not." In the following scene, Duncan tells Macbeth, "I have begun to plant thee, and will labour To make thee full of growing". The planting is a failure as in Act V,Sc.ii, Lennox refers to Macbeth and his followers as 'weeds'. In Act I,Sc.v, Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth to "look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under't". In Act III,Sc.i, Banquo, reflecting on the Witches' predictions, considers that he may be the "root and father Of many kings". In Act V,Sc.iv Malcolm orders every soldier to "hew him down the bough And bear't down before him". The branches from Birnam Wood explain the equivocal prophecy of the Apparitions and perhaps symbolise nature's victory over the unnatural - the murders of Duncan, Banquo, Lady Macduff and her family,and the Grooms. In the final scene of the play Malcolm uses his father's planting imagery to signify a new start for Scotland. In Act II,Sc.iii, Lennox tells of the 'unruly' night and the dreadful storm on the night of Duncan's murder, and in Act II,Sc.iv, Ross and the Old Man speak of the unnatural happenings of the night. Perhaps these incidents symbolise Nature's protest at the murder of a lawful King. Perhaps the Doctor's words in Act V,Sc.i bear this out, "...unnatural deeds Do breed unnatural troubles." To describe his disillustionment Macbeth uses Nature imagery, "...my way of life Is fallen into the sere, the yellow leaf;" You should note, too, that there are many examples of animal and bird imagery in the play e.g. the Captain, to show Macbeth's and Banquo's bravery, compares them to eagles and the lion. ...read more.

Conclusion

Neptune is God of water, so here Macbeth is saying all the water in the world could not wash the blood away. I think he was trying to wash away his crime and his guilt by getting rid of the blood, as this was just a visual reminder of the wrong he had done. He pretends to throw the blood stained water over the floor. A watery red light appears on the stage floor rippling with waves. Lady Macbeth appears back on stage with her hands out in front of her, her hands and clothing are soaked with blood (red ribbons). She holds her hands up to Macbeth�s face, he turns away from her. She starts to speak in an evil, cold, and angry voice "my hands are of your colour , but I shame to wear a heart so white." The knocking starts again. Lady Mabeth spins around in a sudden panic, "I hear knocking!" Lady Macbeth says the rest of her speech in the same quick startled tone. This is the only time in the scene where LM shows her nerves. Macbeth in complete hysteria with tears running down his cheeks "Wake Duncan with your knocking, I would thou couldst!" At this point M�s weakness is most apparent, at this point I feel that he would be ready to confess all. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth exit stage right. Lady Macbeth now calm again, strides off confidently. Macbeth crawls off on his hands and knees. This shows the difference between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, Macbeth is remorseful, guilt ridden and hysterical with disbelief. Lady Macbeth on the other hand is confident, calm, excited, and seems completely unfazed by the fact that she has helped murder her king. Her power over him is enormous, and makes you wonder whether Macbeth was in a trance to even be able to comprehend killing his king let alone actually doing it. At the end of the scene the lights suddenly go out the theatre is pitch black. Props � A bench � A bucket and well � Red ribbons � A fake black cat ...read more.

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