Macbeth Imagery

In: English and Literature

Submitted By bcunnings32
Words 307
Pages 2
Macbeth wants to gain the throne and is willing to do almost anything for it. Act 2 scene 1 of Macbeth describes Macbeth contemplating killing King Duncan for the throne. As he thinks about the murder, he is overcome with grief and nervousness. Along with being tremendously grieved, he also isn’t completely sure if it is the right thing to do. He has hallucinations and is questioning reality. William Shakespeare uses graphic language and visual imagery convincingly to convey that Macbeth is overwhelmed with fear and anguish.
Shakespeare used visual imagery to distinguish Macbeth’s fear. In line 38 of act 2 scene 1, Macbeth says, “A dagger of the mind, a false creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?” This image of a dagger shows how problemed and grieved Macbeth is about killing Duncan. Shakespeare giving Macbeth hallucinations also tells the readers that he is very afraid about the murder that he is about to commit.
In line 49, Shakespeare uses witchcraft and nightmares as one of his tools to create a sense of eeriness. “Now o’er the one-half world nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse the curtain’d sleep; witchcraft celebrates pale Hecate’s offerings, and wither’d murder, alarum’d by his sentinel, the wolf…” He uses the word “wolf,” and “wicked dreams” to add an effect of mysticism and to better describe the unsure feelings that Macbeth is having.
Shakespeare visual imagery to paint a mental image of what might me happening to Macbeth, and how scared Macbeth is of what he has to do. He uses certain terms and phrases that help establish Macbeth’s frame of mind as shown when he used the terms “wolves” and “witchcraft.” Macbeth’s frame of mind in this passage is very nervous, scared, and uneasy. Shakespeare used graphic imagery to portray an anxious and stressed Macbeth as he…...

Similar Documents

Macbeth

...A TEACHER’S GUIDE TO THE SIGNET CLASSIC EDITION OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S MACBETH LINDA NEAL UNDERWOOD S E R I E S E D I T O R S : W. GEIGER ELLIS, ED.D., ARTHEA J. S. REED, PH.D., UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, EMERITUS and UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, RETIRED A Teacher’s Guide to the Signet Classic Edition of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth 2 INTRODUCTION William Shakespeare developed many stories into excellent dramatizations for the Elizabethan stage. Shakespeare knew how to entertain and involve an audience with fast-paced plots, creative imagery, and multi-faceted characters. Macbeth is an action-packed, psychological thriller that has not lost its impact in nearly four hundred years. The politically ambitious character of Macbeth is as timely today as he was to Shakespeare's audience. Mary McCarthy says in her essay about Macbeth, "It is a troubling thought that Macbeth, of all Shakespeare's characters, should seem the most 'modern,' the only one you could transpose into contemporary battle dress or a sport shirt and slacks." (Signet Classic Macbeth) Audiences today quickly become interested in the plot of a blindly ambitious general with a strong-willed wife who must try to cope with the guilt engendered by their murder of an innocent king in order to further their power. The elements of superstition, ghosts, and witchcraft, though more readily a part of everyday life for the Renaissance audience, remain intriguing to modern teenagers. The......

Words: 8499 - Pages: 34

Macbeth

...The Natural Un-Unnatural William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth is a play about a man whose ambition deems him insane. Through certain acts that Macbeth, the main character, disrupts the balance of nature and the unnatural. The actions that breed from Macbeth’s actions, due to his ambitions, cause unnatural things to occur. Throughout the play, the natural and unnatural balance of nature is thrown off, creating an unnatural atmosphere. Throughout William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, an atmosphere that is unnatural is created through imagery of unnatural birth, animal motifs, and the actions of Macbeth. Throughout Macbeth, images of unnatural births help fuel an unnatural atmosphere. In act four the witches brew up a potion consisting of different parts of living things. One of those things is a “Finger of birth-strangled babe/ Ditch-delivered by a drab” (IV,i,30-31). This contributes to the atmosphere of the play because during the Elizabethan time period, grueling births were not common. The fact that a prostitute gives birth to a baby on the side of the road, foreshadows that the baby will bring evil upon society; ultimately creating an unnatural and eerie atmosphere. Also, the fact that Macduff is “…from his mother’s womb/ Untimely ripped” (V,viii,15-16) plays a role as to how an unnatural atmosphere comes about. Imagery of Macduff’s birth causes a dark and unnatural atmosphere. Macduff is born from a sea section because Shakespeare tries to appeal to......

Words: 1364 - Pages: 6

Nature in Macbeth

...In different periods of time, the lives of humans and nature were thought to have a connection, and this is emphasized in William Shakespeare's play MacBeth. In this play, unnatural events in nature foreshadow bad or unnatural occurrences in the lives of humans. Through out the play, Shakespeare continuously proves this point. When Ross said "As sparrows eagles or the hare the lion" (I.ii.35), it proves this theory. Common knowledge says that sparrows do not classify as eagles does a hare classify as a lion. They may have similarities, such as they are both birds or mammals, but they are opposites. After the quote is spoken, Ross reveals that the Thane of Cawdor has betrayed his country and Macbeth shall take his place. Macbeth becoming the Thane of Cawdor was an unusual event and not expected. When Macbeth finds the dagger in front of him, it alludes to this point even more. The foreshadowing of Macbeth's choice becomes evident when he says, "Nature seems dead" (II.i.50) For nature to seem dead would be the complete opposite of living because nature is thought to be continuously growing and changing, not dying. This is an unnatural event, that again foreshadows something bad, which is Duncan's death. Other unnatural occurrences happened prior to Duncan's death but were not explained until afterwards. When the old man says "'Tis unnatural / Even like the deed that's done. On Tuesday last A falcon tow'ring in her pride of place, was by a mousing hawk......

Words: 1967 - Pages: 8

Imagery

...Imagery is very important in poetry. It is used to give the reader a visual or sense of what the author is talking about. Imagery triggers something in the brain that then gives us the ability to correlate a word with a sound, smell, feelings or even sight. Without any type of imagery, it would make it very difficult to relate with the author. Color imagery is used to trigger sight and make us visualize colors and associate it with the words either preceding or proceeding. In the two poems, “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost and “Spring and All” by William Carlos Williams, color imagery plays a big role in describing the scene. “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Browning is a poem about nature and how everything is so beautiful at first, but it then becomes subsides and isn’t as wonderful. “Nature’s first green is gold”, this could refer to the sunrise in the morning (499). This reminds me of all the gorgeous hues of a sunrise and how the sky and everything the sun hits seems golden. It could also be referring to seasonal changes. When spring is around, all the flowers and sunlight look amazing, but when the flowers start turning into leaves and falling off, it is a little upsetting to look at. “So dawn goes down to day”, this gives me the sense that Frost is talking about the early mornings (499). Watching dawn turn into day is disappointing, especially when you get to see all the natural colors coming from dawn and then it just turns into another plain day. The last......

Words: 637 - Pages: 3

Macbeth

...Eve to eat the forbidden fruit of Eden's garden. Even the phrase "snake in the grass" expresses hidden threat. Shakespeare uses this treacherous reptile in Macbeth to convey the same evil. In his poetic prose, Shakespeare may not speak of a character's malevolence directly; rather, he alludes to it through serpentine imagery. I analyzed four images of this type in Macbeth. What is their purpose, and what do they signify? A deep undercurrent of meaning flows beneath each image. In act one, scene five, Lady Macbeth tries to instill invisible evil into herself and her husband in preparation for Duncan's murder. She asks for supernatural unsexing, for a thickening of her blood that will "stop up th' access and passage to remorse." She fears her husband is too weak to murder Duncan, which she believes is Macbeth's only path to the crown. After tauntingly questioning her husband's manhood, she convinces him to follow her gory plan and gives him instructions to do so. "To beguile the time, look like the time. Bear welcome in your eye, your hand, your tongue. Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it." She says that to succeed, they must feign mediocrity amongst their guests, concealing their sinister desires. Appearing normal will not invoke suspicions. The serpent Lady Macbeth speaks of is the evil ambition Macbeth has, craftily slithering out of the shade of the virtuous flower when the deed is to be done. This image is used in a traditional manner, denoting......

Words: 836 - Pages: 4

Lady Macbeth

...Lady Macbeth found via Google - not my own work In typical Shakespearean tragedies, female main characters aren't always treated brilliantly. In Hamlet, Ophelia goes down the "I shall obey, my lord" route. In Othello, Desdemona goes down the "To you I am bound" route. Yet in Macbeth, this isn't quite the case. The most important female figure is Lady Macbeth, a cunning and manipulative woman who is associated with the supernatural. Instantly it can be argued that Lady Macbeth fits in with the later idea of certain Gothic women being 'sinister predators', or 'femme fatales'. | Dame Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth | Lady Macbeth has been the subject of much debate for hundreds of years. Her role in the play is incredibly important and she is the subject of various interpretations. Her first appearance in the play is in act one, scene five. She opens by reading Macbeth's letter; instantly this seems to present her as a typical Shakespearean woman (when I say typical, I mean typical in terms of main female characters in tragedies being passive), since her first words are that of her husband's, as though she is bound to him. Then she stops reading the letter, and we start to realise that she isn't at all typical. She instantly states that Macbeth will be "what thou art promised", which shows a determination and strength of will that we may not have been expecting. She goes on to criticise her husband's nature, since he is "too full o'th'milk of human kindness". A wife...

Words: 2312 - Pages: 10

Macbeth

...Shakespeare in Film Individual Assignment Macbeth is well known to be one of Shakespeare’s shortest yet darkest tragedies. The rich, psychological turmoil experienced by the main characters and the incorporation of elements such as the supernatural culminates in a tragedy that is one of Shakespeare’s most intense and grim. I will be examining the 1971 Roman Polanski film due to the unique life story of the director and the gruesome murders that occurred prior to the film. The film employs the use of gratuitous violence, nudity and graphic imagery that far exceeds that of the text, which Roman Polanski masterfully uses to highlight the inherent madness and evil that drives Macbeth and in doing so, successfully creates an psychologically disturbing film with an atmosphere of perpetual dread. Firstly, one distinct feature about the film that differs from the text is the inclusion of nudity seen in several scenes. Macbeth itself draws largely upon the theme of the occult and madness as the main driving forces, with the inclusion of the prophetic apparitions, visions of ghosts and mental breakdowns. The scene showing Macbeth seeks out the witches for the 2nd time exemplifies the occult brilliantly as it opens to a huge coven of naked witches huddled around the cauldron whilst chanting “Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn, cauldron bubble”. In the book, there was no mention of other witches apart from the three and by including the scene, the huge gathering...

Words: 1232 - Pages: 5

Macbeth

...Deceit and Betrayal in Shakespeare's Macbeth Shakespeare's play "Macbeth" is considered one of his great tragedies. The play fully uses plot, character, setting, atmosphere, diction and imagery to create a compelling drama. The general setting of Macbeth is tenth and eleventh century Scotland. The play is about a once loyal and trusted noble of Scotland who, after a meeting with three witches, becomes ambitious and plans the murder of the king. After doing so and claiming the throne, he faces the other nobles of Scotland who try to stop him. In the play, Macbeth faces an internal conflict with his opposing decisions. On one hand, he has to decide of he is to assassinate the king in order to claim his throne. This would result in his death for treason if he is caught, and he would also have to kill his friend. On the other hand, if he is to not kill him, he may never realize his ambitious dreams of ruling Scotland. Another of his internal struggles is his decision of killing his friend Banquo. After hiring murderers to kill him, Macbeth begins to see Banquo's ghost which drives him crazy, possibly a result of his guilty conscience. Macbeth's external conflict is with Macduff and his forces trying to avenge the king and end Macbeth's reign over Scotland. One specific motif is considered the major theme, which represents the overall atmosphere throughout the play. This motif is "fair is foul and foul is fair." In the first scene of the first act, three witches plan their......

Words: 852 - Pages: 4

Macbeth

...Shakespeare's dark tragedy, 'Macbeth' was written in 1605 under the reign of the superstitious James I but set in the eleventh century. Macbeth is a colossus and ambitious Scottish warrior and the first impressions we get of Macbeth is that he is 'valiant' and 'noble', a captain says of him "brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name" this suggests many people had great respect for him especially his army. Polanski, a film director that has created a modern adaptation portrays Macbeth at the outset to be a 'brave' 'warlord' as he shows the gory battle scene in which Macbeth "unseam'd him from the nave to th'chaps" which is what a captain says of him. Macbeth's bravery is perceived using animal imagery, "as sparrows, eagles, or the hare, the lion" at the start of the play as he has won victory for Scotland. King Duncan, the king of Scotland, rewards Macbeth for his courage by giving him the title 'Thane of Cawdor’; but what is ironic about this is that the title first belonged to one who was "a most disloyal traitor". However even though Macbeth is perceived that way that is later changed as he is a noble hero who's fatal flaw - his vaulting ambition - brings about his downfall. -LAST PARAGRAPH OF THE INTO NEEDS TO BE COPIED IN- * FIRST BANQUET SCENE NEEDS TO BE COPIED IN – Act 2, Scene 2 – Polanski begins this scene with dog’s barking whilst howls hoot throughout to set the tone and has Lady Macbeth’s face half in light, half in dark representing her dual......

Words: 901 - Pages: 4

Use of Imagery in Shakespeare's Macbeth

...Imagery is an effective tool used by writers to enhance the audience’s experience. This is no exception for the play “Macbeth”, in which Shakespeare spins a web of lies, deceit and treachery as the tragic hero, Macbeth, spurred on by vaulting ambition, overleaps, ultimately leading to his death. Throughout the play, recurrent imageries of clothing, blood and butchery as well as light and darkness are employed, propelling the play to its tragic end. The imagery of blood and butchery is employed when Macbeth is first introduced in the play, gives off the impression of a brave, courageous warrior, who was loyal to his King, and blood carried positive connotations of “valiancy” and other similar virtues, where “his blade smok’d with bloody execution”. However, it becomes clear that Macbeth has darker, more sinister intentions/wants beneath his warrior exterior: his desire to be King, which can be seen through his subscription to the Witches’ prophecy, foretelling that he will be King, and his frequent discussions with Lady Macbeth as they plot to usurp the throne from King Duncan. Blood then becomes a symbol of treachery, such as when Lady Macbeth calls upon the spirits to “make thick my blood” and to carry out the murder with no regrets, and in her plan to frame Duncan’s guards with his murder by “smear[ing] the sleepy grooms with blood”. The meaning of blood further descends into guilt, as we observe Lady Macbeth’s slow descend into madness and her......

Words: 907 - Pages: 4

Macbeth

...Acton once said, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Macbeth by William Shakespeare is the tragic story about the kind of destruction ambition and the struggle for power can cause. Even the noblest of people are corrupted by the idea of power and will do anything to achieve it. Symbolism, irony, foil, theme, and imagery are some of the literary elements and techniques Shakespeare uses to portray Macbeth, the protagonist, as a greedy tyrant willing to sacrifice all others to accomplish his goals. Shakespeare not only represents Macbeth as the protagonist, but also as an antagonist to himself and others in the play. The author characterizes Macbeth at first as an honorable man willing to fight for the freedom of his kingdom. Shakespeare foreshadows to the reader a developing change within Macbeth’s character after his encounter with the Weird Sisters. His convene with the witches arouses in Macbeth the idea of becoming king. The motivation for Macbeth to become king spurs from the prophecies told by the witches in the beginning acts of the play, which were evidently coming true as he gained the title “Thane of Cawdor” as the prophecy stated. Below the surface Macbeth is a melting pot of emotions, which engaged his character in the idea of becoming a supreme ruler undoubtedly causing him to commit shameless acts. The character of Macbeth is usually described as being flawed by ambition, but this interpretation is......

Words: 1642 - Pages: 7

Macbeth

...In Act 2, scene 1 of Macbeth, Macbeth demonstrates a frame of mind of obsession and ambitiousness through the words used in the soliloquy. Throughout the soliloquy, Macbeth portrays obsession over murdering King Duncan for power and obsession to soften his crime. Shakespeare indicates his obsession using diction. Obsession means a state in which someone thinks about something constantly especially in a way not normal and usually comes along with symptoms such as anxiety. Obsession can be seen when Macbeth states that he is getting a “fatal vision” (36) and a “false creation” (38). Due to Macbeth’s obsession, Macbeth sees false hallucinations. His hallucination is fatal because he will use the dagger to kill Duncan. He has created a false creation in his mind to try to convince himself that what he is doing is not going to be his fault; instead the crime was the knife’s fault because the knife was calling out to him. When Macbeth calls the knife an “instrument” (43), he is calling the dagger as a tool to gain power than a weapon to harm. He wants to justify and alleviate his crime as just an obstacle he must pass to reach his dream. When Macbeth calls the murder “business” (48), he is trying to make the crime not personal and indicate that he shouldn’t feel any guilt. Macbeth is using these words to soften his guilt to get rid of his anxiety about the murder. Macbeth exhibits ambitiousness when he used the word “marshall’st” (42). Marshall’st means that he was pushed into......

Words: 482 - Pages: 2

Macbeth

...“Significant ideas are raised in plays” Discuss significant ideas in Macbeth Throughout the Elizabethan era, literary work was written for performance on the stage in order to entertain an audience. These performances, known as plays raise significant ideas that are the underpinning issue or idea that propels and sustains the play. As time passes, different generations look at the significant ideas in Shakespeare with new eyes, redefining and reinterpreting as influenced by the political, social and cultural conditions of each era. These significant ideas that are raised in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth (1606) include supernatural, ambition and temptation, and violence. Macbeth introduces an element of fantasy into the normal tragedy narrative through the characters of the witches. The witches are important figures in the play, as their function is both to predict Macbeth’s fate and to signal to the reader what is to come. Far from serving as a distracting element, the witches help focus the audience on some of the darker and more sinister aspects of the play. Shakespeare’s use of this supernatural idea is raised throughout the entire play. If the witches’ prophecy is understood to be imposing a supernatural order on the natural order of things, the natural order can also be understood as responding with tempestuous signs. Following Duncan’s death, Lennox describes the “unruly” night in detail and his personal emotions. Similarly, Ross notes that “the heavens, as troubled...

Words: 1286 - Pages: 6

Macbeth

...Macbeth 1. The raven himself is hoarse That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan Under my battlements. Come, you spirits That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood, Stop up th’access and passage to remorse, That no compunctious visitings of nature Shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between Th’ effect and it. Come to my woman’s breasts, And take my milk for gall, you murd’ring ministers, Wherever in your sightless substances You wait on nature’s mischief. Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, To cry ‘Hold, hold!’ Lady Macbeth speaks these words in Act 1, scene 5, lines 36–52, as she awaits the arrival of King Duncan at her castle. We have previously seen Macbeth’s uncertainty about whether he should take the crown by killing Duncan. In this speech, there is no such confusion, as Lady Macbeth is clearly willing to do whatever is necessary to seize the throne. Her strength of purpose is contrasted with her husband’s tendency to waver. This speech shows the audience that Lady Macbeth is the real steel behind Macbeth and that her ambition will be strong enough to drive her husband forward. At the same time, the language of this speech touches on the theme of masculinity— “unsex me here / . . . / . . . Come to my woman’s breasts, / And take...

Words: 1767 - Pages: 8

Macbeth

...In the play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, William Shakespeare develops the theme of hunger for power through the use of irony, foreshadowing, and symbolism. Shakespeare ultimately proves that hunger for power can mislead a person from situations and turn good intentions, to bad intentions all because of there blind lust. Power, as grand as it may be, can always be misleading. William Shakespeare, often called the English national poet, is widely considered the greatest dramatist of all time. Known throughout the world, the works of William Shakespeare have been performed, taught, and studied for more than 400 years. William Shakespeare was born in 1564 to a successful middle-class glove maker in Stratford Upon-Avon, and created the play “Macbeth” in 1606. In 1582 William at the age of 18, married an older woman named Anne Hathaway. They had three children, Susanna, Hamnet and Juliet. Their only son Hamnet died aged just 11. By the early Seventeenth Century, Shakespeare had begun to write plays in the genre of tragedy. These plays, such as Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth and King Lear, often hinge on some fatal flaw in the lead character, and provide intriguing insights into the darker aspects of human nature. You can now see where this comes into play in other situations Macbeth is a play of contradiction and ambition. Macbeth, a well-known war general driven to become King, killed not only King Duncan to receive his kingship, but also all the heirs to the thrown which......

Words: 874 - Pages: 4