Night: A Herald of Things to Come.

Essay by EggyHigh School, 11th grade January 2004

download word file, 5 pages 3.0

Macbeth, a dark tragedy written by one of the greatest playwrights of all time, William Shakespeare, is a play that explores the anatomy of guilt and the events that cause it. When Macbeth and his wife conspire to commit a horrible murder, the reader sets out on a journey to discover the inner workings of the human soul and the elements of the very life that each and every person who has ever committed a deed even half so terrible lives. But why is this journey so vivid, so familiar? Shakespeare, throughout the play chooses to use a common image over and over again. This image is night, the harbinger of evil and its consequences. The night motif in Macbeth parallels the discovery of evil deeds, which in turn leads to retribution.

Early in the play, night resembles a conspirator to Macbeth and his wife's crime and even the evil of the crime itself.

Throughout Act I, the night is used as a tool utilized to aid in planning (and in some cases, carrying out) wicked misdeeds by not only Macbeth and his wife, but the so-called weird sisters as well. The first of these witches tells a tale of how she is to torment a sailor who is away from his wife. She speaks of the planned torture, in which she will use the night as an accomplice to rob the sailor of his sleep, saying, "I'll drain him dry as hay. / Sleep shall neither night nor day / Hang upon his penthouse lid." In the first act, night seems to be quite a frequenter of such cruel deeds, for later on in the act, Lady Macbeth, a harsh and purposeful woman of wrath, pleads with it for aid. She has realised that her husband is...