The Classification Of Water Imagery Present Throughout Shakespeare 's Macbeth

1134 Words Nov 10th, 2016 5 Pages
Shakespeare is renowned for his vividly descriptive, original, and pioneering use of imagery in many of his plays, but their effect on the audience’s understanding of his plays is most obvious in the tragedies, particularly in Macbeth. Images in Shakespeare’s works are used, according to Shakespeare critic G. Wilson Knight, to craft a play’s “atmosphere” or the permeating tone or mood of a play (3). However, this attitude between images and atmosphere creates an environment where different definitions of images contribute to different interpretations of the subjective atmosphere that is born out of each individual reader’s perception of the play. Because of this discrepancy, a strict definition of the term “image” should be observed. The term “image” will refer to physical objects or actions that are used by Shakespeare to clarify broad themes and character insights throughout the play. Specifically, the classification of water imagery present throughout Macbeth will be discussed broadly to include descriptions of rain, water, and the act of cleansing with water, whether or not they are real or imagined by the characters. Shakespeare uses all of these images to create an atmosphere that highlights Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s guilt and their subsequent desire to purify their tainted moralities. In addition to this, Macbeth will be interpreted through the lens of correcting chaos into order. This righting of natural order is brought forth by the rainstorms of the witches to…
Open Document