Blood Motif In Macbeth Essay On Fate

On By In 1

Imagery in Macbeth

Get Your
Essay Written

Starting at Just $13.90 a page

Imagery in Macbeth In Macbeth, William Shakespeare uses many images to represent the feelings of the characters and to foreshadow the outcome of the play in connection with the theme and conflicts. In any literary work, it is extremely important for an author to effectively influence a reader’s emotions and feelings. In Macbeth, that feat is accomplished by Shakespeare. Through his skillful use of imagery, Shakespeare shows us a deeper look into the true character of Macbeth and the tragic role he plays in his environment.

Though imagery is widespread throughout Macbeth, it is most dominant in animal imagery, blood imagery, and plant imagery. Through these images, Shakespeare demonstrates the development of Macbeth’s character as well as the theme and outcome of the play. The theme is related to fate in connection with the disruption of natural order. Animal imagery plays a pivotal role in Macbeth. Shakespeare uses it for three main reasons: to foreshadow, to show emotions, and to contribute to the theme. The first animal that is introduced is the raven. The raven himself is hoarse/ that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan under my battlements” (1. 5; 36-38). Here Lady Macbeth had received word from the messenger of Macbeth that he was Thane of Cawdor and would become king of Scotland by the three witch’s predictions. Here is also were Lady Macbeth decides that killing Duncan would be necessary to make the witches prophecies come true. Therefore, the raven is used to represent the death and destruction that will result in Duncan’s demise. This was one example that was used to show how animal imagery foreshadowed future events.

Another example is the scorpions, which were used to show Macbeths emotions. Macbeth stated “O, full of scorpions is my mind, dear wife” as his mind was beginning to become poisoned and paranoid over his actions (3. 2; 35). He was becoming excessively overwhelmed during this time, so consequently his wrong-doings began to catch up with him. The next example contributed to the theme of the breakdown of natural order as caused by fate. When Ross spoke with an old man, the old man told of strange happenings that involved an owl killing a falcon and horses feasting on one another. 2. 4; 10-18) Shakespeare used these events to represent the collapse of order where the roles of the prey and predators reversed and other uncommon occurrences took place. This also occurred in the play when Macbeth, a thane, killed Duncan, the king. Animal imagery was very important because it helped the reader understand Macbeth’s character, since he was associated with lions, and eagles at the beginning of the play but then later with scorpions and other vicious animals. (Wikipedia) “Vicious” is a key word in relation to the next form of imagery which is blood imagery.

Shakespeare uses blood imagery to add a sense of fear, guilt, shame, insanity, and anger to the atmosphere. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth’s army had just defeated Norwegian invaders in a gruesome battle. In this instance, blood was associated with good because Macbeth preformed well in the battle and was commended for his actions. Later on, blood took on a more negative role as it was linked to Duncan’s death and to Macbeth’s insanity. In Act two, scene one, Macbeth had a sudden vision of a dagger floating in the air with its tip aiming toward Duncan.

Afterwards, blood imagery is used as Macbeth gives a description of how Duncan will be murdered. “I see thee still; /and on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood, /which was not so before” (2. 1; 46-47). Since there was not an actual scene of when Duncan was murdered, blood imagery allowed the reader to visualize this scene in their minds. Soon after, blood was connected with guilt as Macbeth said “will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood/ clean from my hand? ” (2. 2; 59-60) Through Shakespeare’s abundant use of blood imagery, Macbeth’s character develops.

This is apparent as Macbeth changes from a noble person at the beginning of the play, to a sinister, dishonorable man toward the end. Hence, blood imagery can be connected to the theme because Macbeth lives out his fate with much bloodshed, which only leads to the breakdown of order with no positive outcomes. (Nostbakken) The last factor is plant imagery, which was used quite often in Macbeth. In Act one, scene three, Banquo asks the witches to “look into the seeds of time, /and say which grain will grow and which will not” (1. ; 58-59). In this scene, Banquo is curious about the prophecy so he inquires on the subject. Another example occurs in Act I, scene five when Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth to “look like th’ innocent flower, But be the serpent under’t” (1. 5; 63-64). Here, plant imagery is used to show how Macbeth’s conniving plan will be used to fool everyone. In Act three, scene one, Banquo considers that he may be the “root and father/ of many kings” (3. 1; 5-6). In this example, plant imagery was used to foreshadow the future. Nostbakken) The last example occurred when Macbeth asked the doctor to cure Lady Macbeth of her mind disease. He asked the doctor to “pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow” (5. 3; 39). By using the words “rooted sorrow” Macbeth is stating that Lady Macbeth’s disease has taken control and had been permanently planted in her mind. Therefore, plant imagery was very important in the plot of the story as well as in aiding and understanding the characters. In Macbeth, imagery plays a crucial role in contributing to the theme and outcome of the play.

We see this through the images of animals, blood, and plants. Animals in Macbeth are often used to relate the character’s emotions and characteristics. Sometimes these relationships are very abstract and sometimes they are quite evident. Blood was used to show us the changes in Macbeth’s character, from the start of the play to the end. We see how the blood drawn by Macbeth changed from the noble blood of honor, to the corrupt blood of treachery. Lastly, plant imagery was used to make connection to the outcome of the play.

Do you like
this material?Get help to write a similar one

Shakespeare uses imagery very well, and gives way to feelings that could not have been felt otherwise. Without imagery, this play could not have been able to capture the main concepts that made Macbeth into such a tragic story. Works Cited Nostbakken, Faith. Understanding Macbeth: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997 Macbeth. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 22 Apr 2006, 18:48 UTC. 24 Apr 2006, 03:29 . DiYanni, Robert. Reading Drama: An Anthology of Plays. New York: Glencoe, 1990

Author: Kimber Trivett

in Macbeth

Imagery in Macbeth

We have so large base of authors that we can prepare a unique summary of any book. Don't believe? Check it!

How fast would you like to get it?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi uLorLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Macbeth quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!

0 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *