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Motifs Of Animals In Macbeth

Decent Essays
Many of Shakespeare's plays are filled with themes and motifs. Macbeth is no exception, and one of the most recurring motifs in the play is animals. In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses animals to symbolize betrayal, strange occurrences, and fear. Throughout the play, Shakespeare uses animals to indicate betrayal. For example, when Macbeth is first told by the witches that he will be king, he feels that if it is fate, it will happen without any meddling of his own. However, he begins to second guess his logic and wonder if he should speed up the process by killing Duncan, but decides against the idea because he is Duncan's loyal knight and friend. Despite Macbeth's decision, his wife, Lady Macbeth, tries to persuade him to kill Duncan. She tells Macbeth "look like th' innocent flower,/ But be the serpent under't." (1.5.63-64). Her tone in this quote is emasculating, making her husband feel weak so he will do what she wants. She wants her husband to invite Duncan to their castle, and while he is there, feeling safe, they will kill him. Duncan sees Macbeth as a trusting friend, but Macbeth will betray him like an evil serpent. Animals are again used used to symbolize betrayal when Malcolm and Macduff first meet. They are both skeptical of each other and Malcolm insinuates that Macduff might betray him. When Malcolm says "To offer up a weak, poor, innocent lamb/ T' appease an angry god.", he means that Macduff might harm him in order to gain power, much like what Macbeth
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