"The night has been unruly: where we lay, our chimneys were blown down; and, as they say, lamentings heard i' the air; strange screams of death, and prophesying with accents terrible of dire combustion and confused events new hatch'd to the woeful time: the obscure bird Clamour'd the livelong night: some say, the earth was feverous and did shake." (II.iii.54-62)
Death is a person, haunting those who are waking and those who are sleeping, not differentiating between the two. It can take the image of its former body, or it can take the shape of the unknown. A spirit, and a portrayer of things to earthly souls.
So it is in Shakespeare's "Macbeth". Death is feared, as both a time and a supernatural character. When analyzed, however, death is realized not as a time-- unless it is "a" death--, merely a period of transformation between the physical self and the death-self, creating in the end a religious tragedy.
"It cannot be call'd our mother, but our grave; where nothing, but who knows nothing, is once seen to smile; where sighs and groans and shrieks that rend the air are made, not mark'd; where violent sorrow seems a modern ecstasy; the dead man's knell is there scarce ask'd for who;" (IV.iii.165-171) this phrase from the play is metaphorical. It can be interpreted to be speaking of death in terms of when one dies, yet one may extract from such a phrase, due to its usage of the word and the imagery, that the dead man's knell, signals the individuals transformation from being to spirit.
Throughout the play, Macbeth is confronted with the image of death, fearing, trembling, and insanity coming upon him. A major confrontation between death and Macbeth is during the banquet when he sees the ghost of...