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Themes and Imagery in Macbeth Essay


Major Themes with Imagery in Shakespeares Macbeth

This essay is about a few of the many themes of imagery in Macbeth by William Shakespeare. This play was made by Shakespeare to please King James I. It has many things such as the supernatural and the use of his family to draw him in. The themes this essay is about are blood, ambition, and reality versus fantasy. These three themes are seen all throughout the play as things that tie the story together to make it the masterpiece that it is.

The first theme is the blood in Macbeth. All throughout the play from the very start we see blood drawn from everywhere in the play. The first example is in the beginning of the play. Opening up on a stand against rebel forces Macbeth is portrayed as a powerful war hero, killing for a good cause in defending his country. The second comes as Macbeth has been coaxed by his wife to kill the friendly King Duncan because of the chance of taking over kingship. His blood would haunt them both throughout the play. The final example of blood is the murder of Macduff `s family. They stood innocent people but because of his rage and hunger for blood Macbeth kills them cold bloodedly. These are just a few of the many examples of blood evident throughout the play.

The next major theme of the play is ambition. All along Macbeths quest of sorts you could say he always seemed to want more than he had. He first was a well respected war hero. That did not satisfy Macbeths hunger to be great. The next example of his ambition is the desire, after the prophecies from the witches were given to him, to get to the pinnacle of societal power no matter the cost. He went to great lengths to ensure his kingship based on this ambition. The third and final example of ambition is Lady Macbeths goals for Macbeth to become great. From the start Lady Macbeth coaxes Macbeth into a lot of the evil he is a part of. She constantly reminds him of the power he will receive and the way he will be looked at as a literal king. She is the evil that takes hold of Macbeth and turns his ambition to an unhealthy level. She would end up in a state of insanity after seeing the turmoil that her ambition caused, it eventually cost her her life.

The third and final theme is the idea of reality versus fantasy. In Macbeth it is evident that some of the most resonant images, might not have actually been real. An example of this is before Macbeth kills King Duncan he sees an image of a bloody dagger leading him towards Duncans chambers. Macbeth has not had any thoughts similar to these ever before but the evil that has conjured up inside him leads to these sort of visions only visible to himself. The next example is Banquos ghost appearing to Macbeth at the banquet. This is after he had killed Banquo and now Macbeth is talking and becoming scared and he looks insane to the guests at the party because of his behavior. He has to excuse himself because of the scare that the ghost gives him. The final image of this theme is Lady Macbeths sleepless nights. There was a doctor watching over Lady Macbeth and he was surprised at the she was sleep walking. One night the Lady awoke, with the extent of the guilt she felt, could not seem to wipe blood from her hands. This was blood in her mind, there was no real blood, but the guilt she felt made it appear this way. She tried as hard as she could to wipe the blood away but she could not. No one could fathom the level of insanity she had reached.

Macbeth is seen as a tragedy and it rightfully is one. The things such as imagery that come along with the sad tragedy are very valuable. The imagery and language used can be seen as priceless. They paint pictures that make the story what it is. They help imagination and entertainment immensely. The imagery dictates the entire storyline of the play and the themes talked about are evident throughout each scene of the play.

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