This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Darkness And Concealment In Macbeth Essay

1060 words - 5 pages

Despite Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ being a pre-gothic text, a vast range of gothic notions remain present, including those of darkness and concealment. The role of darkness within ‘Macbeth’ forms a vital aspect of the entire nature of the plot, with characters such as Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and even the witches displaying the use of dark acts, such as murder, in order to achieve personal ambition “that wilt raven up life’s own means.” Additionally, concealment plays an equally vital role, with the ‘femme fatale’ of Lady Macbeth strongly displaying signs of duality as she represses her evil nature behind the charade of passive femininity. However, one must consider why and how darkness and ...view middle of the document...

In Act One, Scene One, Shakespeare shows the witches with evil and darkness through his use of pathetic fallacy, as their introductory settings include a “barren heath” with “thunder and lighting.” Shakespeare’s use of this pathetic fallacy of “thunder” creates a domineering sense of chaos, violence and power in association with the witches, which instantly foreshadows their overall control of the plot throughout - as well as their control of Macbeth’s mentality. However, the addition of “lighting” to the witches opening setting simultaneously creates a sinister sense of the unexpected with the witches. Typically within the gothic, the use of “thunder and lighting” forms a warning to the reader, foreshadowing a sense of danger and darkness.

Shakespeare’s, Lady Macbeth illustrates throughout ‘Macbeth’ the vital gothic elements of concealment and duality, as the female protagonist conceals her evil desires with a mask of passive femininity. Arguably, Shakespeare’s use of duality in association with Lady Macbeth can clearly be defined by appearance versus reality,; with her appearing to be dominantly evil in the confines of solitude, yet weak and passive in the presence of others - such as Duncan, Malcolm and Macduff. Within Act One, Scene Four, Lady Macbeth expresses her desires to transgress the boundaries of gender identity, as she calls on the “evil spirits” to “unsex” her and “fill from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty”. On the surface, Shakespeare’s use of violent words within this extract, such as “cruelty, blood, evil, spirits” may have been used as a tool in order to display emotions of gothic horror and terror within his Jacobean audiences; who notably took all supernatural happenings at face value, and thus would have been cautious and fearful of Lady Macbeth and her desires. Therefore, instantly showing her as the villainous role of the play. However, it could be more strongly interpreted that Shakespeare’s structural decision to introduce Lady Macbeth to the audience in the confines of isolation, may have been to construct a sense of dramatic irony. Shakespeare’s instant association of Lady Macbeth with darkness,...

Other Papers Like Darkness and Concealment in Macbeth

Fear and Cowardice in Shakespeare's Macbeth

1279 words - 6 pages Macbeth:  Fear and Cowardice   William Shakespeare's great tragedy, Macbeth is a play based more on character than deed. The play is a journey along the life of Macbeth, beginning at the apex of his career and following him to his demise. The cause of this sudden deterioration has been debated for centuries. Some attribute Macbeth's quick degeneration to ambition. Although Macbeth is not lacking in ambition, this is not the essential

Deceit and Betrayal in Shakespeare's Macbeth

877 words - 4 pages 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

The Evil Hero In Hamlet And Macbeth

2446 words - 10 pages The Evil Hero in Hamlet and Macbeth Works Cited Not Included Although it is somewhat masked by Shakespeare, both Hamlet and Macbeth are portrayed as pernicious, vile villains whose atrocities echo the machinations of other conniving characters; they lose their heroism in their blatant lack of repentance and

Black and White as the Symbols of Civilization and Savagery in Heart of Darkness

1972 words - 8 pages Black and White as the Symbols of Civilization and Savagery in Heart of Darkness Wide varieties of literary techniques are used throughout Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. One predominant method of his storytelling is his use of black and white symbolism. These symbols are commonly used in literature, and have held some specific symbolic meanings for hundreds of years. White commonly symbolizes good, while black symbolizes evil. As

Evil And Its Motivating Forces In Shakespeare's Macbeth

1572 words - 7 pages as character follows suit. It has been said that "The very title of Macbeth conjures up the dense, suffocating metaphoric climate of primeval evil, darkness, blood, violated sleep, and nature poisoned at its source." The lasting terror of the play lies in the universal theme of a man relinquishing control, and in turn becoming capable of horrendous things. Triggered by the three witches' prophecies and motivated by his ambition and voracious lust for power, Macbeth falls from grace and glory leaving a trail of broken bodies behind him; the last, his own.

Ways in Which William Shakespeare Shows Sympathy and Dislike for Macbeth

720 words - 3 pages In this essay, I will be looking at ways in which William Shakespeare shows sympathy and dislike for Macbeth. I will refer to historical context as well as the play on a whole. The play Macbeth which was set in Scotland, was written by William Shakespeare in the early 1600’s. This play was a tragedy and was written for King James I a year after the gunpowder plot. The play was to some extent a tale to caution any potential killers of the king

How Does Shakespeare Create Dislike of, and Sympathy for, Macbeth Throughout the Play

1223 words - 5 pages directions in Act One, Scene Seven, darkness had fallen when Macbeth and Lady Macbeth planned to kill Duncan; Shakespeare directs that there should be ‘torches’ in that scene. Shortly before killing Duncan in Act Two, Scene One, Macbeth hallucinates and sees a dagger in front of him. This was described as a ‘fatal vision’ because during Shakespearian times, there were limited explanations as to why people would hallucinate and the only viable

Taking Responsibility for Death in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1164 words - 5 pages instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betray in deepest consequence (1, 3, 123-125)." He thinks and says bad things of the witches. He calls them instruments of darkness and the devil. He might believe that these prophecies will only bring harm even before anything begins to happen. So Macbeth is warned by his best friend before he makes any decisions that the witches are evil, and what

Banquo's Purpose In Shakespeare's Macbeth

571 words - 3 pages harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths to betray?s in deepest consequence (I.iii). Banquo immediately questions the prophecies and their potential, wisely tempering his ambition without further action. This tempering of ambition allows Banquo to relay his ?bosom franchised and allegiance clear? (II.i), going against Macbeth?s wishes of Banquo becoming a puppet to the Sisters? prophecy, therefore proving his morality and clear-headedness

Macbeth Essay

633 words - 3 pages the words of others. In Act 1 scene 3, Banquo shows his ability to think logically and not be so easily manipulated. This is done when he says, “But ‘ tis strange: And oftentimes, to win us our harm, The instruments of darkness tell us truths, Win us with honest trifles, to betray us in deep consequence…” (Act 1, scene 3, 131-135). Banquo, hearing about the prophesies, is not fooled so easily and even gives Macbeth a warning to avoid thinking

Tumultuous World

945 words - 4 pages Sandy Wu AP Eng Lit & Comp Mr. Blank/3 February 8, 2011 Tumultuous World 1The world is full of darkness and chaos. 2,3This is Shakespeare’s interpretation in Act One of Macbeth of the chaos that is to come because the three witches and Macbeth’s wife want King Duncan dead. 4He is like many others in the world who give into persuasion. 5,6,7From Macbeth’s wonderment

Related Essays

Macbeth Evil And Darkness Essay

706 words - 3 pages The play "Macbeth" by Shakespeare is jam-packed with malfeasance and darkness. All actions taken by Macbeth, his wife, Lady Macbeth, the witches and Hecate have immoral intentions and/or evil outcomes. An example of such is Lady Macbeth’s dark intentions to quicken Macbeth’s crowning, fuelled Macbeth’s "vaulting ambition[s]" (Act 1 scene 7 line 27) to murder anyone or anything that stood in his path of a long reign

Symbolism In Macbeth: Blood, Weather, Light And Darkness,

1182 words - 5 pages There are many symbols used in Macbeth that help us to better understand the play. In the following paragraphs I will explain them in depth. There are four symbols that I will discuss below, they are light and darkness it represents the good and bad things that take place throughout the play. The second symbolism is blood. The blood represents murder and guilt like the blood on the dagger and the blood on Lady Macbeth's hand. The weather

Favourite Character In Macbeth And Why?

663 words - 3 pages The play I have chosen is Macbeth by William Shakespeare. From reading act one; my favourite character is that of Macbeth himself. I chose this character as he is so complex and appears to have several facets to his personality. In some scenes he is shown as a brave warrior steeped in honour and many are in awe of him. Yet we also see that he has a desire to become king and at first gave the impression that he had no qualms about killing the

Betrayal And False Appearances In 'macbeth'

656 words - 3 pages who live with a careful balance of both trust and vigilance together will thrive. From the beginning of the play, Shakespeare demonstrates just how much appearances can deceive. Macbeth is described as a “brave” and “worthy gentlemen”. Even Macbeth initially sees himself as “good” and questions why he would kill Duncan, given his own character. Although his true colors show in the end, Macbeth is known thought of all around Scotland as a good