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Symbolism Of Night In Macbeth

Good Essays
Unlike in previous acts, the word night in Act III is used in a variety of ways. In the first instance, night refers to a time of joy, as the banquet would be held by Macbeth for his lords. In scenes 1 and 2, all the characters, including Banquo, Macbeth, and the servant knows that night is related to the time of the banquet and a time of joy. Therefore, night has a positive connotation to it. However, when the word is directed to Macbeth by Banquo or vice versa, it has meaning to signify impending doom. As in scene 1, the way Macbeth asks Banquo “Goes Fleance with you” makes Macbeth suspicious as if he is trying to learn too much about their ride. He seems to plan a murder of them both during the nighttime when they return, giving night a bad connotation. This usage of night also continues onto scene 2 when Macbeth hints at Banquo’s murder to Lady Macbeth. Here, for Macbeth only, night has a positive meaning to him as his worries and miseries would be ended when Banquo is killed off in the night. Hecate also uses the word to tell of negativity as she says “This night I’ll spend/ Unto a dismal and a fatal end” hinting that she will cause some great evil, possibly planning Macbeth’s demise.…show more content…
When Macbeth started to act ill and even insane, Lady Macbeth bids the lords farewell to end the party so that she can tend to Macbeth’s illness. She says “At once, good night./ Stand not upon the order of your going,/ But go at once” to show her franticness and wanting of their departures quick. Though good-night usually a warm-hearted farewell, Lady Macbeth’s farewell is that of cold and apathetic. She could not care less about the lords, but her reputation being ruined due to Macbeth’s illness. Also, Macbeth makes use of the word night to ask Lady Macbeth what the time is, giving the word a new
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