Symbolism that Represents the Theme of Corruption in Shakespeare's MacBeth

1043 WordsJul 13, 20185 Pages
Symbolism in MacBeth Symbolism plays an important role to emphasize the theme of corruption of power in William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Throughout the play there are several main symbols repeatedly used to emphasize this theme. The contrast of light and dark representing good and evil, blood representing guilt, murder, and pain, and the archetypal pattern of purification by using water represents removal of guilt, cleansing and peace. Symbolism is used repeatedly to emphasize the theme of corruption of power. Blood is an important image and plays out through Macbeth. The murders that Macbeth had committed are represented by the blood, the guilt that went along with the murders and the pain that it brought on him during his downfall.…show more content…
In Macbeth, light represents the good while the darkness symbolized the evil within the play. This foreshadows the death of King Duncan. Throughout the play, there is continuous contrast of light and dark imagery. Ross says, "And yet dark night strangles the traveling lamp." (pg. 37) This shows how evil will overcome Macbeth's moral conscience and this foreshadows Macbeth's transformation from a good captain to an evil, ambitious leader. Throughout the play, the events of corruption and unusualness occur at night. The murder of King Duncan, Banquo, Lady Macbeth's sleepwalking, and the witches, all take place at night. "Stars, hide your fires, Let not light see my black and deep desires." (pg. 13) demonstrates Macbeth's step toward evil as he talks about the murder of King Duncan. During Lady Macbeth's scene in which she is sleepwalking, there is epitome of the light and darkness symbol contrast. "She has her light by her continually, Otis her command." (pg. 84), symbolizes the fear Lady Macbeth now has for the darkness and evil. She had once desired the darkness but she now carries the candle, light, to drive out the darkness. During the murders, there was a dark setting used which involved supernatural events, while the light setting was used for last battle, when Macbeth was slain at the end to show the restoration of peace and honesty. Thus the symbolism of light and darkness representing good and evil in the play emphasizes the theme

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