Act I[ edit ] The play opens amidst thunder and lightning, wherein the Three Witches decide that their next meeting shall be with Macbeth. In the following scene, a wounded sergeant reports to King Duncan of Scotland that his generals Macbeth, who is the Thane of Glamis, and Banquo have just defeated the allied forces of Norway and Ireland, who were led by the traitorous Macdonwald, and the Thane of Cawdor. Subsequently, Macbeth and Banquo discuss the weather and their victory. As they wander onto a heath, the Three Witches enter and greet them with prophecies.
Darkness can be used to represent confusion or disorder or evil, while light represents simplicity or clarity or goodness. In Act 1, both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth pray for darkness so that no one, including themselves, will be able to see their evil deeds.
This symbolic use of darkness and light actually has a name; it is called chiaroscuro. He is already considering murder in order to ascend to the throne.
His wife, then, receives his letter and begins to make her own treacherous plans. She says, Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark To cry "Hold, hold!
She hopes for utter darkness, a dark like the darkness of the smoke in hell clearly associating darkness with evil hereso that not even the angels or God in heaven will be able to see what she's going to do and try to stop her.
It's no coincidence that Duncan's murder takes place in the darkness, as does Banquo 's. In the days following Duncan's death, darkness hovers over Scotland, as though the sun has gone out the light associated with Duncan's good rule gone.
The thane of Ross says, By th' clock 'tis day, And yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp 2. He describes the darkness as literally killing—strangling—the sun here, figuratively referred to as the "traveling lamp".
Symbolically, evil has overpowered good.
In the scene where Banquo is killed, he too is connected with light because he is carrying a torch according to stage direction. When Banquo is attacked, his torch goes out, and the third murderer asks, "Who did strike out the light? Literally, the torch went out, but figuratively, Banquo lost his life—more goodness has perished as a result of Macbeth's evil.For instance, a black cat, a dark night, and a dark place are all symbolic of diablerie.
Authors use these symbols to describe an evil character or setting. William Shakespeare employs the imagery of darkness in Act 4 of his play Macbeth to describe the agents of disorder.
Turnitin provides instructors with the tools to prevent plagiarism, engage students in the writing process, and provide personalized feedback. Macbeth responds to the news of Lady Macbeth's presumed suicide by proclaiming "out, out brief candle" (), turning the candle's flame has become a metaphor for her short life and sudden death.
Similarly, Banquo's torchlight (the one that illuminates him just enough so his murderers can see what they're doing) is also snuffed out the moment he's killed (). In Shakespeare's Macbeth, darkness vs light is one of the play's themes.
This refers to the darkness that fights the light, thematically, in the play. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. Good and evil are symbolized by light and darkness in the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare.
When there is peace and good, Shakespeare mentions light; whether if it is the sun shining brightly or merely a candle giving light.