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The use and importance of symbols in macbeth a play by william shakespeare

Act 1 Scene 2 Lady Macbeth calls on spirits to take away any feelings of pity she may have. Act 1 Scene 5 'And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood' Macbeth sees a vision of a blood-stained dagger before he murders Duncan. Act 2 Scene 2 'There's blood upon thy face. Act 3 Scene 4 'It will have blood they say: Act 4 Scene 1 'Here's the smell of the blood still' Lady Macbeth sleepwalks and imagines she has blood on her hands.

Act 5 Scene 1 Why does Shakespeare use the word 'blood' so often in the play? The word 'blood' appears over 40 times in Macbeth — not to mention appearances by related words such as 'bloody', 'bleeding' and so on. Shakespeare's constant repetition of the word 'blood' stresses to his audience or readers the full horror of what is happening.

This was especially true for the play's original audiences. For them the shedding of a king's blood would have been just about the worst crime that could be committed. It was not only a crime but also a deadly sin. The references to actual blood are a constant reminder of the direct consequences of the Macbeth's actions.

This is further reinforced by the images of blood which are used throughout the character's speeches and makes what they are saying all the more frightening or horrific. Night What relevance does the word 'night' have in the play? Repetition of the word 'night' also features heavily in the play Night time is traditionally associated with evil and so it is in Macbeth.

Many of the most horrifying scenes of the play take place at night and under the cover of darkness. Even when it is daylight sometimes it seems more like night.

Related Questions

The image of night time is also used by the characters to show the darkness of their feelings and the evil of what they are doing. The table shows some examples of the use of the key word night: Although it is daytime in this scene there is a mysterious darkness covering the land as though it is night.

This will give Macbeth the perfect cover to have Banquo murdered. It echoes Lady Macbeth's earlier speech. Act 3 Scene 2 Why does Shakespeare use the word 'night' so often in the play? The constant repetition of the word 'night' highlights the sense of darkness in the play and at the heart of some of the characters.

It had another particularly practical use in Shakespeare's day. Plays were regularly performed out of doors and during daylight. Therefore it was important to keep reminding the audience that some of the play's most important scenes were actually meant to be taking place in the dark.

Time What relevance does the word 'time' have in the play?

What is the significance of sleep in Macbeth?

References to 'time' often crop up in Macbeth References to time are an important aspect of Macbeth and as time passes in the play, events become more intense and consequences more significant. Being able to see into the future, as Macbeth believes the Witches are able to do, gives a sense of power to his actions.

Both he and his wife seem in a hurry to realise their ambitions before time catches up with them. The table shows some examples of the use of the key word time: Macbeth realises that in the future Fleance will come to be as big a threat as his dead father.

Form, structure and language

Act 3 Scene 4 'There would have been a time for such a word. The time is free. Act 5 Scene 9 Why does Shakespeare use the word 'time' so often in the play? As with the other key words, the main effect of repetition is to make sure that the audience or reader knows that this aspect is important. Time seems to pass more quickly as the play progresses and this adds to the tension as the play moves towards its final climax. Some other key words which feature repeatedly in the play are: Literary devices — animal images Imagery Imagery is the general term covering the use of literary devices which encourage us to form a mental picture in our mind about the way something or someone looks, sounds, behaves, etc.

The language used often relates to one or more of our five senses. The three most common literary devices which come under this heading are simile and personification. Images of many different mammals, birds and insects appear throughout the play. Two key groups are: