Darkness and Light

Motif in Macbeth

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In the beginning...Act I, Scene I

Macbeth's Thoughts - Act I, Scene IV

Macbeth believes that he is growing "dark" and plans to murder Duncan."...Stars, hide your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires..."

Lady Macbeth's Thoughts - Act I, Scene V

Lady Macbeth begins to plan the murder of Duncan and asks the night to hide her deed."Come, thick night, and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, that my keen knife see not the wound it makes, nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark..."

The Murder of Duncan - Act II, Scene II


Preparing for Banquo's Death - Act III, Scene I

Macbeth tells the assassins to kill Banquo and Fleance so that they "...must embrace the fate of that dark hour...." He means this both literally and metaphorically. The night will literally be dark, while Banquo will meet the final "darkness" of death.

Banquo's Death - Act III, Scene II

The death of Banquo took place at night. The darkness of the murder extinguished his light.
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The Witches

Whenever the witches show up, they symbolize darkness. Even Macbeth calls them "you secret black and midnight hags." (Act IV, Scene I). This shows that he is associating them as dark and evil.
Double Double Toil and Trouble

The End... Act V, Scene VIII

Light conquers Darkness

When Macduff (light) kills Macbeth (darkness) in Act V, Scene VIII, good overcomes evil and the country is restored.



Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. "The Tragedy of Macbeth." Elements of Literature. Ed. Richard Sime. Austin, TX: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2000. 301-382. Print. 
"Sight, Light, Darkness, and Blindness." Shakespeare Navigators. N.p. N.d. Web. 14 March 2013. http://www.shakespeare-navigators.com/macbeth/Sight.html