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The portrayal of light and dark in the play 'Macbeth' byWilliam Shakespeare

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The portrayal of light and dark in the play 'Macbeth' by William Shakespeare Throughout the play many references are made towards light and dark. These references are mainly symbolic of good and bad, the references are made out to emphasise a situation especially the dark, symbolising bad and evil that contrasts to the light, symbolically representing good. Immediately in the play there is a strong example off darkness, the witches. In Elizabethan times many so called witches were persecuted and executed. This was done due to an immense fear of witchcraft by the population, witchcraft was a very serious matter and anybody suspected of being a witch was tortures and killed, it was not a laughing matter. ...read more.


The language accentuates this "hover through fog and filthy air" gives a feeling of dirt and bad, but do not overlook the fact that they may be on about clouding his vision with evil. Darkness has an extremely big part to play in 'Macbeth' both as a play and to the actual main character. The play is basically about Macbeth, how he moves from strength to strength driven in his success by evil, this evil eventually overtakes him and his greed finally kills him. The evil in him emerges from the witches, they tell him of the things he would or could become, thane of Cawdor, thane of Glamis and also king, and the lust for power inside him acts on these prophecies. ...read more.


Because the play is very much dark based there are not a lot of references to light in the play because Shakespeare wanted an evil image portrayed throughout making the play more entertaining. The characters in this play associated with good are Macbeth and Lady Macbeth at the beginning, Macduff, Malcolm, Donalbain, Banquo and the noblemen of Scotland and other generals. Characters associated with evil are the three witches, the three murderers, Macbeth and lady Macbeth soon after meeting the witches. In order for the dark for the dark presence to make an impact Shakespeare uses characters light and dark roles to contrast each other, thus making the dark seem more evil and the good more innocent. This seems to make the play better because the audience can sympathise with the good characters and start to hate the bad characters, which makes the play more entertaining. ...read more.

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