Symbols And Imagery In Macbeth

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Analyzing The Symbols and Imagery of Macbeth The highly-acclaimed playwright, William Shakespeare, is notorious for his frequent use of symbols and imagery in his works of literature. Shakespeare’s Macbeth poses as another one of his works of literature in which symbolism and imagery is prominent. In particular, act two, scene one, the scene in which Macbeth proceeds to murder King Duncan, includes the recurring symbols of the “Three Weird Sisters” and the floating dagger. Additionally, the use of imagery is prominent in Shakespeare’s ability to touch on images of darkness and blood. Taking a closer look at the character of Macbeth, it is evident that his actions are a result of his id, ego, and supergo—an idea premised on the theory of psychoanalytic criticism. Through these perspectives, both the audience and readers alike develop a more educated understanding of Macbeth.

Act two, scene one opens with both Banquo and his son, Fleance, in the king’s castle discussing the absence of light; Fleance states, “The moon is down” (2.1.2). Banquo goes on to say, “There’s husbandry in heaven; Their candles are all out” (2.1.4-5). The figurative imagery of darkness is first introduced as it is described that the moon is down; Banquo’s metaphorical description of light as heaven’s candles continues to delve into the imagery of darkness. Banquo continues to discuss the absence of light as result of it being withheld by heaven. The image of darkness insinuates an atmosphere of
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