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Macbeth: Symbolism

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In William Shakespear's Macbeth, symbolism is abundantly used in
exemplifying the overall theme of murder. There are several prominent forms of
this throughout the play. The contrast of light and dark representing good and
evil plays a major role in the advancement of events in the play. Blood
symbolizes murder and guilt. The archetypal pattern of purification by water is
used several times in the play, particularly in the murder scenes. Symbolism is
widely displayed in order to achieve the general topic of evil.
Light and dark represent good and evil in the play. During the time in
which Macbeth was written, the king was associated with the sun. The sunset
symbolized his death or overthrow. The quotes "When shall we three meet again .
. . " and "That will be ere the set of sun." (I. i. 1,4) foreshadow the king's
death. The imagery of light and dark continues throughout the play. "Stars,
hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires." (I. iv. 50-51)
demonstrates Macbeth's step toward evil. Most of the corrupt or unusual events
in Macbeth occur under a cloak of darkness. The murders, Lady Macbeth's
sleepwalking, and the appearance of the witches all take place at night. Lady
Macbeth's sleepwalking scene is the epitome of the light/darkness symbol. She
once craved the darkness but now carries a candle to dispel it. The line, "She<...

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