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The Importance Of Imagery In Macbeth Woodroffe/English Essay

1383 words - 6 pages

Macbeth
The tragedy of Macbeth by Shakespeare is about a loyal general full of ambition, but no resolve, who decides to commit regicide to become king himself. In the play Macbeth, Shakespeare uses of imagery of sleep, blood, and nature shows how uncontrollable ambition corrupts the mind, your morals, and the universe as a whole. Comment by Angie Duff: to show Comment by Angie Duff: avoid 2nd person Comment by Angie Duff: Intro. needs more expansion.
The image of sleep is often used in the play and it helps emphasize how the ambition can corrupt one's mind. The first time Shakespeare shows this is when Macbeth is paranoid about killing Duncan, the King. He becomes so weak and vulnerable that he hears auditory hallucinations that say , “...[he] hath murder'd sleep: and therefore Cawdor shall sleep no more: Macbeth shall sleep no more!”(2.2.54-56) Macbeth from this point on is unable to sleep since the guilt from killing the King is tormenting him from the inside. When one does bad deeds, it strongly affects one's mind and their mental state worsens. Shakespeare also uses his characters to convey his message when Macbeth starts going crazy in front of all the other nobles and Lady Macbeth comforts him. She says that “...[he lacks] the season of all natures…”(3.4.172) and tells him to sleep. That the only reason he is acting crazy is his lack of sleep. Again, Shakespeare uses sleep as something to represent the corruption in a person's mind when they have a lot to feel guilty about due to the consequences of their own actions. In the final act with the scene that has Lady Macbeth in it, Shakespeare reveals how her conscience has completely taken over her sanity. A person may be able to pretend they are fine for a short period of time, but at some point, they will break and the Doctor describes what happened to her as “...infected minds to their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets…”(5.1.67-68). It's difficult to hold onto your misdeeds without thinking about them until they eventually are completely unable to handle their situation just like Lady Macbeth's Comment by Angie Duff: pronoun agreement Comment by Angie Duff: lack of
behaviour. Sleep, whether it is the lack of it or because of it, is an image for the infection in a person's brain that keeps them from staying sane that the writer uses to show that impure intents and desires can affect you negatively. Comment by Angie Duff: Awkward.
Other than sleep, Shakespeare also uses imagery of nature and the environment to prove how humans’ lust for power shakes the balance of things and affects the universe as a whole. This is proven by Shakespeare when he uses Lennox and the weather outdoors when Macbeth goes to kill Duncan. Shakespeare describes the situation through Lennox and says that “the night has been unruly: where [they] lay, [their] chimneys were blown down, and, as they say, lamentings heard i’ the air, strange screams of death, and prophesying with accents terrible of dire combustion...

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