Macbeth Presentation By: Alexandra Capello and Savannah Green
Introduction • A very important tool that many authors use to portray a major theme is imagery. In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Shakespeare uses imagery to give the readers a greater understanding of the theme of violence. Shakespeare utilizes this tool by using blood to symbolize Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s guilt; blood is also used to symbolize the violence and numerous murders that take place throughout this play, and the imagery of darkness depicts this play as a tragedy.
Paragraph#1 • The imagery of blood in this play is used to symbolize the guilt felt by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. For example: • “Go get some water, And wash this filthy witness from your hand.’’ (2.2.60-61) • This quotation shows that they are trying to wash away their sins, but in the end the guilt sits like a permanent stain on the conscience of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and haunts them to their graves. • Lady Macbeth’s command is followed by this quotation…
continued ‘’With all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand?’’ (2.2.77-78) • This quotation shows that Lady Macbeth, and Macbeth begin to feel that their crimes have stained them in a way that cannot be washed clean. The idea that water alone could cleanse the pair after such a foul deed seems laughable, especially when Lady Macbeth famously curses the imaginary "spot" of blood she can't seem to wash from her guilty hands (5.1.) • These quotations show how Shakespeare uses blood to symbolize their guilt, but blood is also used to portray the savagery violence, and murders.
Paragraph #2 • Shakespeare uses the imagery of blood also to portray the horror and brutal violence of the battles in this play. The author refers to blood quite often in this play. Blood as a result of actual wounds is almost omnipresent, from the bleeding Captain in the beginning to Macbeth's bleeding head at the end. But it's the imagined blood that arguably has more of a significant impact as a symbol. • “Is this a dagger which I see before me, • The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee. • … • And on thy blade and dungeon gouts of blood, • Which was not so before. There’s no such thing: • It is the bloody business which informs • Thus to mine eyes.” (2.1.40-55) • This quotation explains that when Macbeth considers murdering Duncan, he sees a floating dagger that points him in the direction of the sleeping king's room. As Macbeth wonders if his mind is playing tricks on him, the dagger becomes covered in imaginary blood. This foreshadows the manner in which very real daggers are used when Macbeth murders King Duncan.
…continued • Blood is everywhere in the opening battle between the Scots and the Norwegian invaders. • ‘‘Which smoked with bloody execution, • Like valour’s minion carved out his passage • Till he faced the slave;’’ • (1.2.20-22) • This quotation, along with the rest of the scene describes how horribly brutal and barbaric the war was. All this talk about blood gives the readers a clear visual of the extent of the violence in this play.
Paragraph #3 • Macbeth by William Shakespeare has many examples of light and darkness imagery, this imagery is used to enforce the theme of tragedy. • The first example of darkness is Lady Macbeth, when asks "thick night" to come with the "smoke of hell," so her knife might not see the wound it makes in the peacefully sleeping King (Act 1, Scene5, line3). The literal darkness Lady Macbeth calls for seems to connect to the evil or "dark" act she plans to commit, which is one of the first tragedies in the play.
…continued • The second example of light and darkness imagery is an example of light portraying tragedy, when Lady Macbeth starts heading into madness, she insists on always having a candle or, "light" about her (Act 5,Scene1, Line 4) as if the light might protect her against the evil forces she herself is involved with Act I, scene v. • It turns out, though, that such candlelight doesn't do her much good she kills herself thus showing tragedy.
conclusion • In conclusion, imagery is an effective way to help the readers better understand certain themes. Shakespeare successfully uses the imagery of blood to show the guilt of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, as well to show the horror of this play. The use of light and darkness further depicts the overwhelming theme of violence.