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The Imagery Of Macbeth: Essay Add in library

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Write an interpretive composition essay on the imagery of Macbeth?


The Imagery of Macbeth

Macbeth is the story of a valiant general from Scotland who was foretold by three witches that He is going to be the future king. In order to become the King Macbeth along with Lady Macbeth planned to kill King Duncan. The story portrays the downfall of a character. In order to establish the story many imagery were used to fabricate an image in the mind of the readers. which made the readers or audiences to involve themselves more with the story.

The imagery throughout Macbeth was darkness. Almost every act had majority scenes with a background of darkness. It starts with the witches meeting in the heath and planning to meet in “thunder, lightning or in rain”. Again, When the three witches states “Fair is Foul and foul is fair”, the audience gets an indication that soon they would witness a transformation that fair things are going to be foul. In act1 scene2 when the wounded sergeant explains the fight between MacDonald and Macbeth he uses terms like violent thunders and storms.

  The imagery of darkness proceeds in scenes before murdering King Duncan as well as Banquo. In Act 3 scene2 darkness was symbolized as the time of Evil. The words ‘desire’ and ‘dark’ arouses the curiosity of the audiences. In act 2 scenes 4, when an old man says that by time it is day but dark night is throttling the day, it referred that good times are covered by evil. In the play, while characterizing Macbeth darkness played a significant role.

Bloodshed also played a huge imagery. Repetitive use of words such as ‘bloodshed’, ‘Gore’, was used to make the drama more violent.  Words such as “what bloody man is that?” describing the wounded surgeon made the audience connect to the ongoing battle which was described by the Sergeant. Then in act2 scene 2 Macbeth said then in order to wash his hand even Neptune’s ocean wouldn’t be sufficient. In the end of the play also it was portrayed that Lady Macbeth was frequently washing her hands as she use to imagine blood in act 5 scene 1. It is because her participation in the murder that turned her feelings into guilt.


It is agreed by many Scholars that the most effective way of communicating the play was the use of Imagery. Apart from Blood and Darkness, the image of Strength and Weakness were shown to a great extent. Coming to the contrast of Macbeth and Lady Macbeths character in the beginning the lady was portrayed to be stronger but in the end Macbeth was depicted as stronger. Where color of milk referred to cowardice there color of blood referred to terror, strength and restriction of life.

One of the most repeated contrasts that had been used in the play was Sleeplessness and sleep. This disturbance by dreams, and the hysteria of Lady Macbeth remarked how they predicted and referred the following consequences. Imagery was the tailoring idea that mentioned the suitability of the characters according to the order. Like when Macbeth was given the order of Thane of Cawdor, he referred the promotion as “dress me in borrowed robes”.

The imagery of the play brought a distinguished portrayal in every character. The character descriptions were introduced in such a manner that readers could easily create the image of the characters. The play follows a prototype of linked images. These connections set the response and atmosphere for the readers. The first imagery of darkness and valor creates a mysterious and heroic essence in the play. But as the play slowly moves to the end the magnitude of crime increases along with the climatic change of Macbeth’s character from a hero to a villain.                        

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