February 5, 2015
In Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, the author uses light and darkness, unnatural cycles in nature, and birds to add symbolism and deeper meaning to the play.
In Macbeth light and darkness are used to symbolize good and bad, he does this to create high suspension and imagery. The night is used to imply to the audience something bad will happen, the literal darkness is related to the evil and corrupt acts that occur in Macbeth. For example, when Macbeth kills the King Duncan it is in the night, but when the act is committed the scenes transition into the morning. In Macbeth, the act of murder, suicide, and presence of the witches is often includes dark scenes and low lighting, to no lighting at all. Often, when Shakespeare uses light its associated with Lady Macbeth to protect her from the evil she has created. For example, before she commits suicide she always has lights and candles to protect her from all evil. This is significant because the use of dark and light allows for the production of the play to be more high risk of death, which eventually led to the curse of Macbeth.
The unnatural cycles of nature used in Macbeth, signifies the change in power through corrupt actions. After Macbeth hears his prophecy from the witches he goes to kill King Duncan to become the King of Scotland. Unfortunately after he is crowned king the cycle of nature is disrupted. For example, in scene two in the middle of the day darkness completely covers the sky and eliminates the sun. This is unnatural because the sun eliminates darkness by rising and setting to create night and day. Other unnatural cycles of nature that occurred were Duncan’s horses began eating each other, and an owl was seen killing a falcon. Based on the cycle of nature, usually falcons would owls and horses eat grass and hay. This is significant because the change in power unnaturally within Macbeth also causes for the sequences in nature to become displaced.
Shakespeare uses the birds to represent the cycle of events, which will occur based on the birds characteristics. For example, when King Duncan announces he is coming to stay with Macbeth in his castle Lady Macbeth references the raven, which implies King Duncan’s death; Shakespeare’s uses the raven because they are viscous and feed off of many of the ground prey. Unfortunately, when king Duncan arrives he notices how beautiful Macbeth’s castle is and even points out the martlets. Ironically, King Duncan notices the marlets because they are harmless birds, which represent goodness and purity. This is significant because Shakespeare uses the birds to represent changes in events that will occur.