Symbolism In Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'

1026 Words5 Pages
Josie Tapp
Ms. Morris
Senior English – 1st period
6 December 2016
The Vitality of Symbolism in Macbeth
In almost any work of literature that has been written, symbolism has played a part in it. Symbolism is important to include because it helps to further relate and understand the story as a whole. A story with symbolism establishes an abstract and creative view, when it lacks symbolism it loses these elements. Symbolism can help to discover the underlying meaning of certain aspects that have been written. Shakespeare is known for using various types of symbolism in his work, Macbeth is one of these. Verniere writes, “Shakespeare has been a staple of film since the beginning.” (Verniere 1). No matter the subject, Shakespeare has always been
…show more content…
The dagger signifies death, the act of Macbeth killing King Duncan along with hiring three murders to kill Banquo and his family. David Bevington writes, “Macbeth arranges the death of Banquo, though Banquo’s son Fleance escapes.” (Bevington 1). Macbeth was successful in killing King Duncan and Banquo; but he failed at killing Fleance, Banquo’s son. Macbeth’s plan did not go as thought. Macbeth fails at killing who he wants to. Gale writes, “The doctor says that there is nothing he can do for her, noting that she needs spiritual and not physical healing.” (Gale 1). Gale is referring to Lady Macbeth’s mental and physical state. The killings that were executed by her husband took a strong toll on her. Ultimately killing her, as well as the other innocent lives. Shortly after King Duncan and Banquo die, Lady Macbeth passes away due to stress and guilt. Lady Macbeth’s death in the play is almost equally tragic as Macbeths. This also shows that the dagger not only symbolizes death, but also the mental state of the characters and how destructive it can be. Jorgensen writes, “For although his lady for a time dominates him, and although her tragedy is almost equal to his, he dominates the play.” (Jorgensen 1). Jorgensen is saying that while Lady Macbeth plays a prominent role in the play, it does not compare to Macbeth’s himself. While the dagger symbolizes death, it also represents destruction, as we see with Lady Macbeth. Without the symbolic meaning of death in the play Macbeth, the story would lose a primary element. Macbeth had a primary goal of killing innocent people to help him reach being king in a fast and convenient
Open Document