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Word Count: 1,183
In William Shakespeares tragedy Macbeth darkness plays a vital role in the development of the plot Darkness itself is associated with many things in modern days such as sleep dreams and evil creatures that stalk the night Also in the play darkness is used as a cover for evil deeds that the characters perform ie the murders of Duncan and Banquo Sleep or the lack of sleep performs a crucial function During the first scene of the play a witch says Sleep shall neither nigh or day hang upon his penthouse lid I iii 19-20 Here sleep is used to foreshadow for even though the witch is speaking of punishing a sailor for his wifes mistake it carries the theme of punishing the husband for the wifes mistake which is what happens to Macbeth In the next act Banquo while speaking to his son Fleance speaks of sleep A heavy summons lies like lead upon me and yet I would not sleep II i 6-7 Sleep also foreshadows here because as Banquo speaks Lady Macbeth is carrying out the first part of the plot to murder Duncan in his sleep Immediately after Macbeth stabs Duncan in his bed he speaks feverishly to Lady Macbeth and in this conversation he says Sleep no more to all the house Glamis hath murdered sleep and therefore Cawdor shall sleep no more Macbeth shall sleep no more II ii 40-42 In this talk sleep or rather the lack of represents the madness that will engulf Macbeth later in the play as a result of his transgressions Dreams also play quite a large role in the development of the plot Two quotes spoken by Macbeth both represent one important thing Come let me clutch thee I have thee not and yet I see thee still II i 34-35 and Avaunt and quit my sight III iv 93 These visions rather waking dreams signify Macbeths descent into madness which results from
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