Imagery in Macbeth Darkness Sleep Clothing Sickness and disease Blood Analysis What is the image? What does it mean? How does it reflect character? What effect does it have? Words that show analysis The writer intends the reader to think....... The writer intends the reader to feel....... The image makes the reader feel....... The writer is implying....... Examples Clothing “Within the play ‘Macbeth’ the imagery of clothing portrays that Macbeth is seeking to hide his “disgraceful self” from his eyes and others” Darkness “In ‘Macbeth’, Shakespeare draws upon the design of the witches, the guilt in Macbeth’s soul, and the darkness of the night to establish the atmosphere.” Examples Blood “Shakespeare uses the imagery of blood to represent treason, guilt, murder and death.” Sickness and disease “.....in particular the imagery of disease acts as a metaphor for evil and corruption.” Sleep “A guilty conscience, a blameful, responsible feeling of culpability, leaves both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth guilt ridden and full of remorse. They both have murdered sleep, therefore they will never take pleasure from peacefulness again” CLOTHING Shakespeare apparently intended to degrade his hero by giving him clothes which were unsuited to him. His garments seem either too big or too small for him, his ambition is too big and his character too small for his new and unrightful role as king. After becoming Thane of Cawdor he feels as if “dressed in borrowed clothes, Banquo comments “New honours come upon him/Like our strange garments, cleave not to the mould/But with the aid of use.” Caithness sees him as a man trying in vain to fasten a large garment on him with two small a belt. Angus finally says, “now does he feel his title/Hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe/upon a dwarfish thief.” BLOOD •Blood represents treason, guilt, murder and death. • Macbeth is first a brave, honoured soldier, but as the play progresses he becomes identified with death and bloodshed. • Blood changes from honour to treachery. • Originally he is referred to by Duncan who says “What bloody man is that?” •This is a term of endearment as he is referring to Macbeth as a brave fighter. • Later in the play when Macbeth’s treachery has been revealed Macduff says “I have no words, my voice is in my sword, thou bloodier villain than terms can give thee out.” DARKNESS • All of the remarkable scenes take place at night or in some dark spot, ie the murder of Duncan, the murder of Banquo and Lady Macbeth’s sleep walking. • Darkness stands for the evil and death, it can blind out all the horrible things that happen at night, it is where evil deeds are done. • Lady Macbeth asks “thick night” to come with “smoke of hell” so her knife might not see the wound it makes in the sleeping king. • When Lady Macbeth descends into madness she needs a candle or light to protect her against evil forces which are symbolised by the darkness in her soul. SICKNESS AND DISEASE • Macbeth, is ill with the disease of evil. • In Act 4 Macduff and Malcolm lament the fact that Scotland is as ill as its ruler. • Malcolm describes the country like a being which is bleeding under Macbeth, while Macduff talks about healing Scotland through the medicine of revenge. • Later in the play Macbeth asks the doctor to cure Lady Macbeth’s sickness and the sickness of Scotland. • Macbeth’s slow descent down the moral ladder is like a disease spreading through a human body’s organs. SLEEP • When someone commits a crime, he or she will get caught up in the moment of the deed, but later will have time to think about what they did, usually as they are about to go to sleep. • Macbeth obsesses about whether or not he will be able to go to sleep even before he kills Duncan. • Sleep is something he will need to feel peaceful and well-rested • Later Macbeth has “murdered sleep”, and cannot rest because of the crime he has committed. • Sleep is also a state of vulnerability and an openness to attack.