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Light vs Darkness Essay

  • Submitted by: Saraxcutie501
  • on June 23, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 4,387 words

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Below is an essay on "Light vs Darkness" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Shakespeare’s plays have demonstrated the battle between good and evil in various ways. Macbeth, one of his most famous works, has been heralded as a prime example of this battle between good and evil through the use of imagery of light and darkness. Firstly, light imagery illustrates the nobility of person. Next, one’s purity can be easily stained by darkness. Finally, the use of dark imagery symbolizes the true and final stage of evil. Therefore, Shakespeare's contemplative imagery of light and darkness is significant as it mirrors the degree of good and evil within the complexity of mankind.
To begin, the light imagery signifies the purity of the individual. In essence, it is the revelation of nobleness of the person, and in the instance of Shakespeare titular character in Macbeth, it is emblematic of this nobleness. For instance, Macbeth’s nobleness is often brought to light as a valuable and desirable trait. In fact, the Captain goes on to compare Macbeth to the sun where he notes, “As whence the sun 'gins his reflection” (Macbeth 1.2.25). The sun is the brightest object in the sky and visible universe; thus, the Captain uses this imagery to define the sheer elevated nobility of the Macbeth. To a certain extent, it is implied by the Captain that Macbeth’s character shines just as bright as the sun. Duncan also extends this characterization of Macbeth’s purity and nobleness when he equates the nobleness of man to the stars, “signs of nobleness, like stars, shall shine / On all deservers” (1.4.41-42). Again, this reference to light becomes synonymous to character both in terms of the desirable qualities in a man but also to Macbeth himself.
Moreover, the perceived flawlessness of one’s image is subject to change. As Macbeth is highly regarded by others, “it is clear that Shakespeare wishes to convey to the reader that the light too can suffer period of darkness and be stained by it” (Bloom 34). To a greater extent, Macbeth’s quest for power through...

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