Essay by MobyHigh School, 11th gradeB+, November 1996

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One of the most important tools in literature is imagery. It is not just in there to

fill up paper; rather, there is at least one dramatic purpose for each image and there are many

different types of imagery. This essay seeks to prove that in the play Macbeth the author

William Shakespeare uses darkness imagery for three dramatic purposes. Those three purposes

are, to create atmosphere, to arouse the emotions of the audience and to contribute to the

major theme of the play.

The darkness imagery in Macbeth contributes to its ominous atmosphere. In the very

beginning of the play the three witches are talking and the first witch says 'When shall we

three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?' (Macbeth 1. 1. line 1). This is a good

example of darkness imagery because when you think of the crashing thunder, lightning and

rain, they all remind you of evil and ominous things.

Later on the Sergeant is talking with

Duncan and Malcolm when he states 'Ship wrecking storms and direful thunders break' (1. 2. l26).

Again this darkness imagery contributes to the ominous atmosphere of the play, having reference

to thunder and dark storms. Finally, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are talking in the scene just

before the murder of Banquo and Macbeth says 'Light thickens, and the crow makes wing to the

rooky wood: Good things of day begin to droop and drowse, whiles night's black agents to their

preys do rouse' (3. 2. l50-53). This example of darkness imagery is saying that the day is

turning into night, all the good things are going to sleep, and the evil creatures are coming

out . The evil in this previous quotation and the two before adds to the ominous atmosphere.

Since the imagery creates an...