How does Shakespeare use imagery to develop the theme of ambition in Macbeth.

Essay by porkypigHigh School, 11th gradeA-, June 2003

download word file, 2 pages 2.3

In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, he explored many different issues, such as ambitions and appearance and reality. Many clever techniques were used to present these themes, for example contrast imagery and the use of characters.

For presenting the theme ambition, Shakespeare used contrast in the character Macbeth. At the beginning of the play Macbeth is a good person. Lady Macbeth described him as being "too full of the milk of human kindness". This image of a mother always caring for her child shows that Macbeth is a loving and kind person who always cared for others. But after the witches' prophecy of him becoming the Thane of Cawdor came true, he started to change.

With the encouragement from Lady Macbeth and the witches' prophecy, Macbeth's ambition started to take over him. "Crown my thoughts with act." This image of decorating, improving his thought by crowning it with act, shows that Macbeth will not stop at anything to accomplish his goals.

At the end of the play, Macbeth changed completely, from a royal thane, to a tyrant, a Devilish Macbeth. "This tyrant, whose sole name blisters our tongue." This image shows that people hated Macbeth so much that even saying his name is like a curse. By contrasting using contrast in Macbeth, Shakespeare is able to show how horrible ambition can be, and how it could change a person completely.

Another important theme in this play is appearances and reality. This is presented by irony in Lady Macbeth; she thinks of hear self differently to who she really is in reality. "Unsex me here, fill me full of direst cruelty." She says this because she believes that she could strip herself of her femininity and human kindness and avoid her conscience. After the murder of Duncan she...