1rything candles, the sun, and the three
1rything seems to change. In the dark all evil is disguised, the “dark night strangles the traveling lamp.” This traveling lamp is the sun, or light of the world. Shakespheare explores this idea in his tragic play, Macbath. Just as a person’s mood changes with the raising and setting of the sun, the mood of the play also changes. The three witches or “the weird sisters” bring a dark feeling to the play. When the audience thinks all hope is lost, the sun comes up again and everything is brought back to sanity. The truth is hidden in the night sky until the sun raises to uncover it. This theme of light and dark is displayed through candles, the sun, and the three witches.
“Come, thick night, And pull thee in the dunnest smoke of Hell, That my knife see not the would it make, Nor Heaven peep through the blanket of dark to cry ‘Hold, hold!'” This is Lady Macbeth calling upon the night to hide her and her husband while they kill the king. Why would she do this? Wouldn’t it be just as easy to kill a man during the day? No. This is because the darkness brings on an eerie feeling, a feeling of invincibility. This is a time to do the “night’s great business”. In this hour “black Macbeth” prepares himself to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth requested that this ” lifelong night” have no stars and this was granted. There is no fun going to a haunted house during the day, and no one would plant a garden at night. There is a time and place for everything-including light in this tragedy. In act five Lady Macbeth enters with a candle. “She has light by her continually, ’tis her comand.” This light symbolizes the truth. As she is sleepwalking with this candle she is speaking the truth about Duncan’s
murder. Later on in the act a candle is used to symbolize life. The phrase “Out, out, brief candle!” is used during Macbeth’s soliloquy of how there is no meaning to life. Even though the candle symbolizes light, life, and truth, there is an even bigger, brighter symbol used by Shakespeare.
The sun is the most evident symbol of light in this Shakespearean work. This is used for the obvious reason that the sun brings light and daybreak. The sun can also be a symbol for life because as “the sun ‘gins his reflection” people wake-up and come back to life. Good things are related to the sun. Songs, the spring and summer months, and plants in full bloom are just a few things the sun provides us with. Therefore when we hear Lady Macbeth say, “Oh never shall sun that morrow see!” we become a little scared and uneasy. Towards the end of the play Macbeth says “I ‘gin to be aweary of the sun.” Since the sun symbolizes light and light symbolizes the truth, we can assume the sun symbolizes the truth. This statement means Macbeth was afraid of the truth. It was, however, understandable for Macbeth to be afraid of the truth because shortly after the sun came up he was killed. Along with the sun there is also a symbol for darkness in Macbeth. “The set of sun” brings the dark night and all of its inhabitants.
When we first meet the three witches there is a storm. This immediately gives us a dark feeling. As they speak we find out that they only meet under the worst of circumstances. During their second meeting they discuss where they have been. One response was “killing swine”. This gives us a dark and dismal picture of the witches. When they meet Macbeth and tell him that he is going to be king, evil thoughts begin to
stir in his head. It is not known if the “secret, black, midnight hags” caused Macbeth to kill Duncan, but it is certain that they were not against the idea. Throughout the witches’ spells and magic they made references to darkness. They also state that they never meet under the sun. In some religions witches are associated with the devil. The