The Importance of Night in 'Macbeth'

767 Words4 Pages
When I thought about the role that the word "night" would play in the tragic play "Macbeth," I found that there were a variety of possibilities. Immediately, I thought of the nighttime as a period of rest and revitalization. I expected that this would allow characters to recover from the day 's many demands. Secondly, I connected the night to the unknown. In the night 's cloak of darkness, many more things could go undiscovered than in the revealing light of day. Next, I thought that the night would mean vulnerability. As the evening closes in, everyone begins to wind down, not expecting any real action until the breaking of the dawn. In addition, while one is sleeping, they are susceptible to almost anything. The most logical time to make…show more content…
The night, however, gives her the impression that Macbeth can indeed kill King Duncan with no one uncovering his contemptible crime, the same idea that Macbeth had when he said, "Stars, hide your fires; / Let not light see my black and deep desires... (I,iv,50)." The night 's darkness even allows them to believe that they can hide Macbeth 's sin from God, the all-knowing One. Next, we find an excellent example of night causing vulnerability in act II, scene iii. As King Duncan slumbers in his chambers, Macbeth, bidding the "firm-set earth" not to hear his steps, enters and slays the innocent and unaware monarch (56). Another key example of night 's connection to vulnerability occurs in act III, scene iii, when the unsuspecting Banquo is murdered as he returns to Inverness. If Banquo had returned in the light of day, the three murderers surely would not have attempted to kill the nobleman. Finally, one can recognize the major role that night plays regarding evilness in "Macbeth." All of the evil things that Macbeth does in the story occurs in the nighttime. Lennox states, "... the obscure bird / Clamored the livelong night. Some say, the earth / Was feverous and did shake," in reaction to Macbeth 's first evil act, killing the king of Scotland, as seen in my word journal. Animals and even the earth itself could sense the horrible sin that Macbeth had
Get Access