LIGHT VERSUS DARKNESS: GOODNESS VERSUS EVIL

“Fair is foul and foul is fair”, this becomes the main theme of the play
and a continuously running reality. It, for the most part, represents the
image of light and dark. In this play, most of the evil happenings take
place in the dark. Macbeth murders King Duncan which was his first step
towards devastation. After the murder, peculiar things take place at night.

Macbeth starts feeling guilty; he gets restless and eventually starts
losing his senses.

When, first of all, the witches tell Macbeth their prophecies, his desires
see hope but as soon as Lady Macbeth learns of this, she takes a certain
decision to get King Duncan out of their way. Macbeth, though, has the same
ambition but here, Lady Macbeth makes him do something he is not mentally
ready for, by directly challenging his manhood. “Come, you spirits that
tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, And fill me, from the crown to
toe… (act1, scene5). He leaps into evilness first, when he performs the
murder, the terror sets in. “But wherefore could not I pronounce ‘Amen’? At
this point, it is seen that Macbeth is starting to fall apart as he sees
his fault. The murder was the stand to Macbeth’s demise. He does all this
to achieve happiness but despite of doing all he wanted to, he does not get
what he longed for.

The night Macbeth kills King Duncan, many odd happenings take place. These
happenings were unnatural and strange. It seemed like nature’s order had
been disturbed and that the murder would bring about surplus changes. That
night was fierce. The winds were blowing away the houses and chimneys. A
falcon is killed by a mousing owl. Here, Shakespeare symbolized the king to
be the falcon killed by a hunting creature, that is, the owl, which
normally preys on mice, and this owl symbolized Macbeth .Another
disturbance was Macbeth’s horses, which broke their stalls and ate each
other, this was something completely out of the order of nature. All this
happened at night, which particularly shows that darkness gives room to
evil and is a hiding place for wrongdoers. It takes away happiness. These
strange happenings basically raise fear and suspense. The strange behaviour
of the animals represents the lost of good tidings as the noble King Duncan
dies.

At the end, Macbeth starts losing his sleep which refers to night as a time
of darkness and darkness behind the eyes. His guilt slowly drives him out
of his senses. After doing the deed, they fall victim to remorse and shame.

Lady Macbeth tries to cover up Macbeth for his peculiar actions. Though, in
the beginning, she seems like the stronger part of the pair but later her
guilt takes over her senses and she discloses their deed while
sleepwalking. Her speech and actions raise curiosity and make the doctor
and his maid very suspicious; “Unnatural deeds do breed unnatural
troubles.” Macbeth and Lady Macbeth now seem to face a serious dilemma but
Macbeth still does not stop here, he hires people to kill Banquo, and this
shows that one vice guides to another. His problems keep increasing and
ultimately lead him to death. On the other hand, Lady Macbeth drives
herself mad and commits suicide due to her guilt even before Macbeth dies,
she was the main driving force behind Macbeth’s plays for power, she
thought she was strong mentally and spiritually but in reality she weakens
and accepts her defeat even before Macbeth.

Since all of Macbeth’s wrongdoings take place under the cover of darkness,
the contrast of light and dark which symbolises goodness and evil, proves
itself to be true. All in all, Macbeth gets trapped after performing the
first murder and this slowly drags him into the world of blood. He was
referred as the ‘noble’ and ‘kind’ Macbeth but it later changes to the
‘Black Macbeth’ and the ‘tyrant’ Macbeth. He could not stop himself from
going on the same path. “They say blood will have blood and it does.”(Act
3, scene 4).


Word count: 687 including quotations