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Macbeth Weather Motifs

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Yenised Ramirez- Ajete

on 12 March 2014

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Transcript of Macbeth Weather Motifs

The fog in Scotland is a big part in Macbeth. The fog creates a sense of mystery and suspense and shows that things are going to turn around. The fog first starts off in the play when King Duncan says he's going to kill the Thane of Cawdor.
In Macbeth, Shakespeare doesn't really use stage directions, but when he does, it usually relates to weather events such as thunder and lightning. In the play, he utilizes the weather to create an ominous dark mood.
In Macbeth, another motif is the rain. At the beginning of the acts, the sky is sunny, and then when something bad starts to happen the rain starts to pour. Or another thing that occurs, is the sun will be out yet it will be raining. All the storms at beginning of the play will foreshadow all the bad things that will happen in the future.
The Nature is also a big aspect in Macbeth. Following Duncan's death, we hear from Ross and the Old Man that strange things have been occurring. For example, the night of Duncan and Banquo's murder there are storms, day is as night because the King's power which represents the sun is being replaced by Macbeth's darkness, owls are eating falcons, and horses are going crazy and eating each other.
Nature cont.
In the play, Fleance mentions just before his father's death that the moon is down. Then, Banquo responds by saying that "there's husbandry in heaven; / their candles are all out". This means that the sky is dark and that there are no stars out. This doesn't usually occur so it's indicates something unnatural.
Macbeth Weather Motifs
Whenever the witches appear in any act or scene of the play, Shakespeare makes thunder and lightning appear to foreshadow that something bad is going to happen or that something unnatural is going to occur. A place this be specifically seen is:
Act 1:
"When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?"- First Witch
In this quote, the First Witch ask when they will meet again and then mentions various things dealing with the weather. She says this, because whenever they meet up, there is always thunder, lighting, or rain or all three at the same time.
Act 5
: "I 'gin to be aweary of the sun,
And wish th' estate o' th' world were now undone.—
Ring the alarum-bell!—Blow, wind! Come, wrack!"
- In this quote, Macbeth is becoming worn out with the regularity at which the sun rises each day. He no longer wants the order and structure that his life consists of. He wishes the order were lost, so he begins to call for chaos.
Rain cont.
Act 3
“It will be rain tonight” - Banquo
- In this quote, Banquo predicts something bad will happen before the night of his murder. He uses the rain as a sign of darkness and evil.
Darkness is used in Macbeth to create a threatning mood and to foreshadow the unfortunate events that are about to occur. This can be seen in:
Act 2
: " The heavens are being stingy with their light"-Banquo
In this quote, Banquo is telling his son Fleance that the heavens are being stingy with the light because it is really dark outside and the moon has set. All this darkness foreshadows the unfortunate events that are about to occur.
Thunder another motif in the play, usually accompanies rain. It is used for the same purpose as rain such as foreshadowing unfortunate events. A specific citing regarding thunder can be seen:
Act 4
: "That I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies and sleep in spite of thunder."- Macbeth
In this quote, Macbeth is deciding that he is going to kill Macduff in order to make sure that he will be safe on the throne. He is saying that he is going to push away his fear and try to repress all his feelings of guilt.

In Macbeth, the rebelling aspects of the wind accompanied by lightning indicate that there is a disruption in the way things normally go in society. The bad weather that goes on throughout the whole play makes it seems as if weather and nature are upset with Macbeth.
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