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Signs and Omens in Macbeth

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Stephen Hannan

on 22 April 2015

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Transcript of Signs and Omens in Macbeth

Signs and Omens in Macbeth
What are signs and Omens?
An omen is an event or happening that is believed to portend a good or evil event or circumstance in the future.

A sign could be a motion or gesture used to express or convey an idea, command, or decision. Any object, action, event, pattern, that conveys a meaning. Or it can be a a kind of evidence or a kind of trace.
Examples of Signs and Omens
Signs and Omens are a bit different, where signs are more neutral and can be something like a trace of an animal, evidence, or a gesture or command given by a person. Where as an omen is more of phenomenon to portend the future. An omen can be considered good or bad depending on there interpretation. For example a black cat crossing your path in many countries is considered an omen of bad luck.
Bad Omens
- A bird flying into the window and dying is an omen of death.

- Seeing an owl during the day is another omen of death.

- A single crow or raven perched on the house is another omen of death.
Good Omens
- Finding your initials on a spider web, is an indication that you will have good luck forever.

- Finding a four leave clover is one of several other items that are supposed to be a sign of good luck.

- Meeting up with a snake is another sign of good fortune. It means someone or something important is coming into your life.
The effectiveness of Signs and Omens in Macbeth
Shakespeare uses signs and omens in Macbeth to make the play more dramatic and interesting. The signs and omens in Macbeth may also give you a better understanding of whats going on during the play. Signs and omens also foreshadow with the use of animals in the play such as birds like the raven, to signify death. Shakespeare also uses the weather in Macbeth to give the play a more dark and gloomy effect by having dark weather with rain and thunder, many murders are done during the night, and the witches are accompanied by a thunderstorm. Blood is also used alot throughout the play representing murder, death, and guilt. The signs and omens used this way in Macbeth help portray the imagery of darkness and evil in Macbeth
Stephen Hannan
In the begging act a battle is fought and we meet three witches, whom are accompanied by a dark storm after the battle. The storm and battle help show the witches unnatural presence, also setting the tone of darkness and evil in the play.
In this act Lady Macbeth and Macbeth kill Duncan, while the murder is taking place the weather again is dark in the night is stormy, and after his death during the day the weather is still dark. Many strange events happen to portray the evil deeds done in this act. An owl kills a mighty falcon, as the owl is less superior to the falcon like Macbeth is less superior to Duncan. Also Duncan s horses break out of there stalls and start to eat each other. These unnatural occurrences represent how nature is out of sync and the balance between good and evil has tipped in the favor of evil, Macbeth.
- <i>SparkNotes</i>. SparkNotes. Web. 22 Apr. 2015. &lt;http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/macbeth/&gt;.
- "Death and Bad Luck Omens." Let Me Explain to You a Thing,. Web. 22 Apr. 2015. <http://clevergirlhelps.tumblr.com/post/64152564554/death-and-bad-luck-omens>.
- "Wealth." 18 Omens of Good Fortune. 22 Apr. 2015. Web. 22 Apr. 2015. <http://www.wofs.com/index.php/wealth-mainmenu-37/540-18-omens-of-good-fortune>.
- "Mrs. R's Literary Corner." Mrs. R's Literary Corner. Web. 22 Apr. 2015. <http://maryrichardsea.blogspot.ca/2009/09/after-act-ii-discuss-omens-in-act-2.html>.
- "The Tragedy of Macbeth." The Tragedy of Macbeth. Web. 22 Apr. 2015. <http://www.academia.edu/5715178/The_Tragedy_of_Macbeth>.
In this act Macbeth hires murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance, where Banquo is killed and Fleance escapes. Again another evil deed that is done during dusk where the day is more dark. Banquo's ghost also appears during the banquet where only Macbeth can see him. Macbeth begins to rant and make the other quest uneasy. This is a sign of Macbeth losing sanity and showing his guilt for his deeds
Macbeth revisit the witches for more prophecies, the weather once again dark and gloomy reflect the unnatural presence of the witches. Macbeth learns of his new prophecies, where the prophecies act as signs. Macbeth than has Macduff's family murdered while Macduff and Malcolm plan on overthrowing Macbeth.
In the begging of this act, we see the fulfillment of the witches prophecies. We also find that Lady Macbeth is sleep walking over the guilt and paranoia over the blood she had spilt, where the blood is what further represents her guilt. The doctor points out how he has seen patients act similarly and that they have died, foreshadowing Lady Macbeth's death later on in the act where she commits scuicide. As the witches new prophecies come true Macbeth relises the signs and that his death comes soon, as he finds out that Macduff is not born of a woman. Once again the withesprophecies act as an omen of death.
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