Friday, August 2, 2019
Atmospheres Unlimited in Macbeth :: Macbeth essays
Atmospheres Unlimited in Macbeth Ã Ã Ã Ã Shakespeare becomes a master of diverse atmospheres in his tragedy Macbeth. We shall examine closely the changing, more forcefully developing atmospheres here. Ã In his book, On the Design of Shakespearean Tragedy, H. S. Wilson explains why the atmosphere is so important in Macbeth: Ã Macbeth is a play in which the poetic atmosphere is very important; so important, indeed, that some recent commentators give the impression that this atmosphere, as created by the imagery of the play, is its determining quality. For those who pay most attention to these powerful atmospheric suggestions, this is doubtless true. Mr. Kenneth Muir, in his introduction to the play - which does not, by the way, interpret it simply from this point of view - aptly describes the cumulative effect of the imagery: "The contrast between light and darkness is part of a general antithesis between good and evil, devils and angels, evil and grace, hell and heaven . . . and the disease images of IV, iii and in the last act clearly reflect both the evil which is a disease, and Macbeth himself who is the disease from which his country suffers."(67-68) Ã L.C. Knights in the essay "Macbeth" mentions equivocation, unreality and unnaturalness in the play - contributors to an atmosphere that may not be very realistic: Ã The equivocal nature of temptation, the commerce with phantoms consequent upon false choice, the resulting sense of unreality ("nothing is, but what is not"), which has yet such power to "smother" vital function, the unnaturalness of evil ("against the use of nature"), and the relation between disintegration in the individual ("my single state of man") and disorder in the larger social organism - all these are major themes of the play which are mirrored in the speech under consideration. (94) Ã Charles Lamb in On the Tragedies of Shakespeare comments on the atmosphere surrounding the play: Ã The state of sublime emotion into which we are elevated by those images of night and horror which Macbeth is made to utter, that solemn prelude with which he entertains the time till the bell shall strike which is to call him to murder Duncan, - when we no longer read it in a book, when we have given up that vantage-ground of abstraction which reading possesses over seing, and come to see a man in his bodily shape before our eyes actually preparing to commit a muder, if the acting be true and impressive as I have witnessed it in Mr.
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