Macbeth Animal Symbolism Essay

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Secondly, as the play progresses, the use of animal symbolism illustrates the decline of Macbeth.In Act I, the Sergeant speaks of Macbeth and Banquo stating that they are: “As sparrows, eagles; or the hair, the lion” (I.ii.35) to their enemies. Specifically, the Sergeant refers to them as an eagle and a lion. Traditionally, these animals are inferred to be noble, strong, proud, and fierce. This shows how Macbeth is first known to have these traits. Additionally, it also accentuates the unjust nature of Banquo’s murder later on. This is due to the fact that unlike Macbeth, he remained true to his reputation until his death.The night that King Duncan is scheduled to visit Macbeth’s, Lady Macbeth warns him to act normal to avoid suspicion and …show more content…

The flower represents what Macbeth is expected to be: trustworthy and gentle while the serpent represents what he will become: deceitful and feared. The illustration of the serpent hiding underneath a flower can be compared to Adam and Eve and the serpent in the garden. The serpent symbolizes temptation which also can be drawn to Macbeth and his decision to submit to the allure of power and murder King Duncan just as Adam and Eve decided to eat the fruit. In Act III, Macbeth conveys his troubling thoughts concerning Fleance's escape: “O, full of scorpions in my mind” (III.ii.37). Scorpions represent poison, evil, pain, and angst. Particularly, the use of scorpions indicates Macbeth becoming further consumed in thoughts of malevolence. Upon learning of his family’s murder, Macduff declared his anger anger against Macbeth: “He has no children. All my pretty ones?/O, hell-kite! All?/What, all my pretty chickens and their dam/At one fell swoop?” (IV.iii.216-219). In the given context, “one fell swoop” compares a kite, a vicious bird belonging to the falcon family, swooping down on its prey to Macbeth’s act of gruesomely murdering Macduff’s family abruptly. In contrast, chickens are vulnerable and gentle birds that have no way to defend themselves. As Menteith, Caithness Angus, Lennox, and the soldiers prepare to assassinate Macbeth, Lennox states that their overall intention: “To dew the sovereign flower and drown

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