Motif Of Darkness In Macbeth

1133 Words 5 Pages
The Hidden Deceit in Darkness
In Shakespeare's Macbeth, ambition and greed highlight a person's drive to corruption and downfall. In the play, three scheming witches tell the main character, Macbeth, his prophecies of becoming thane of Cawdor, and, later king of Scotland. The witches’ ambiguous prophecies give Macbeth the confidence and motives to eliminate anybody who stands in the way of the fulfillment of the prophecies. Throughout the play, Macbeth loses all the qualities that had gained him respect from his peers, and becomes a repulsive, bitter man. In many cases, when a person develops evil characteristics or possesses negative qualities, they are perceived by society as having a dark soul. Darkness is often used in the play to represent
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After king Duncan names Malcolm, his eldest son, as his successor, Macbeth becomes upset, as, in order for his predictions to come true, he would have to murder Duncan and his progeny. Macbeth demands the “stars, (to) hide (their) fires” (I, iv, 52) in order for him to disguise his “black and deep desires”(I, iv, 53) of being crowned king, at any cost, even the murder of Duncan, the king that was so generous to Macbeth. The use of personification of the stars “hiding their fires” creates an image of Macbeth hiding his vile intentions. Macbeth uses “dark” and “black” as terms to describe his murderous thoughts, revealing the extent of their depravity. Shakespeare uses the diction of these evil words, because the color black is often associated with death and evil, and is the predominant color of darkness. Through the use of literary features, Shakespeare helps the reader better understand Macbeth’s malicious thoughts. Macbeth wants to hide his black, amoral soul, and sinful thoughts, intending to hide them by covering up their powers and shielding them with darkness. He does not want to “let (the) light see” (I, iv, 53) his brutal strategy and inhumane motives which, he hopes, will earn him the throne, while preventing the outside world from knowing of his true, evil …show more content…
In act 3, all of Macbeth’s admirable qualities have been converted to immoral habits. Similar to Lady Macbeth, Macbeth also requests for the “seeling night”(III,ii, 48) to come and mask his evil intentions of killing Banquo. Macbeth not only intends to hide this sinful deed from his virtues but he also plans on deceiving his wife and not telling her about his plan. The ongoing motif of darkness is ultimately used when Macbeth demands the night to “scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day”(III, ii, 49). Through this use of imagery, it is evident to the reader that Macbeth has completely lost all of his morality because he is insisting for the night to hide his evil actions from the day. Macbeth calls upon the night because he does not want anybody in the castle to get suspicious and he comprehends that will be the case if he commits the crime during the day. This proposes that Macbeth is fully aware of his actions and chooses to shield the day from seeing them. The personification being used of the night scarfing up the day further develops the motif because it displays that darkness is capable of canceling out light which exemplifies that within Macbeth’s soul the power of darkness and evil is stronger than the good of light. The diction being used in this passage of word like “invisible”, “cancel” and “selling” illustrate to which extent Macbeth is willing to go to in order for him to

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