beth essaysUse of Imagery in Macbeth As defined in the Webster’s Students Dictionary, imagery is a figurative term which reveals description by applying the five senses. William Shakespeare’s usage of the imagery of animals, the imagery of blood, the imageries of clothing and weather, are frequently shown throughout the play.
Through examples of imageries of animals, Shakespeare uses literary elements such as symbolism. Before Suncan’s assassination, animals, such as the owl and the falcon, emerged from the night and acted unnatural, “even like the deeds that’s done. ” “It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman, which gives the stern’st good-night. ” In Act 2, scene 2, Lady Macbeth waits anxiously for Macbeth to return from killing Duncan, the King of Scotland.
The step that Macbeth is leaping over goes against the rules of nature, and when thsi happens, animals and weather erupt. The owl is a bellman because, according to superstition, the hoot of the owl portends death. He is fatal, perhaps because he death and horror. thus, when the owls screamed and the crickets cried, it symbolized evil and ominous doings. In Act 2, scene 4, Ross and an old man exchange accounts of the disturbed night and the recent unnatural happenings.
Hours seemed dreadful and things strange. The heavens and animals are troubled by man’s presence on earth’s stage, where he performs his bloody acts. The night has been unruly, houses and chimneys were being destroyed by fierceful winds, and everything was filled with “dire combustion. ” The indistinguishable bird of darkness, the owl, clamored the night. “A falcon, tow’ring in her pride of place, was by a mousing owl, whose normal prey is a mouse. The night has become more powerful than the day or else the day is hiding its face in shame.
Also, Macbeth’s horses, the choicest examples of their breed, turned feral, as they broke their stalls, and were said to have eaten each other. Horses do not each other. Bizarre events occured the night Duncan was murdered by Macbeth. These dreadful events took place at night, a symbolic reference to the evil doings of men. There is a sense of fear, wonderment, amazement, and mystery.
An atmosphere of death is symbolized by the behavior of the animals of the night. “The raven himself is hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan under my battlements. ” In Act I, scene 5, Lady Macbeth has already planned the assassination. The raven, a symbol of death, announces the arrival of death for Macbeth with a voice hoarser than ususal.
Duncan’s entrance is fatal, he will die “under her battlements. ” The reader realizes the working of Lady Macbeth’s mind and how she plans to kill Duncan. King Duncan will not leave the castle alive. the words “fatal entrance” contradict Duncan’s lines as he enters the castle, “this castle hath a pleasant seat.
” The raven, a bird of demise, represents Duncan’s doom. William Shakespeare wisely applies the imagery of animals throughout the play. Many of the images relate to symbolism. Thus, the owl and the raven are animals of the night, and symbolize doom.