Plant Imagery in Macbeth

January 15, 2017 General Studies

In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare used plant imagery in many different forms. He used it to relate to character and theme. The main .

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character of this book was a warrior named Macbeth. At the very beginning of the .

book, Macbeth was portrayed as a brave and capable warrior. As the plot continued, .

this perspective was soon proved to be incorrect.

Shakespeare used plant imagery to show that Macbeth was evil. Three witches .

told him that he will be the next king, so Macbeth tried to become just that. In .

Macbeth’s struggle for mastery, he proved that he is a man that lacked good character. .

Macbeth’s character can be classified as irrevocably evil. In Act 1, Sc 5., Shakespeare .

showed that the root of Macbeth’s evil was his wife. She told Macbeth to “.look like .

the innocent flower, But be the serpent under’t”. Basically she wanted him to appear to be good and pure even though she knew he wasn’t. Macbeth obviously took his .

wife’s advice because he became like a serpent to Scotland. People in Scotland began .

killing each other and there was no control over the people. His kingship did not help .

Scotland at all. Macbeth also was a man full of pride (which was evil) and believed .

that he was invincible. In Act 4, Sc. 1, Shakespeare used the three apparitions to show .

plant imagery in that nature would rise up against him. Macbeth went to the three .

witches and inquired of them the nature of his future. One of the three apparitions told .

Macbeth that he should “.never vanquished be until Birnam Wood.come against .

him”. Not realizing that nature was against him, Macbeth felt that he was invincible. .

He killed Macduff’s family. He was a man that was evil and full of pride.

Plant imagery proved that Macbeth was evil in another way. In Act 5, Sc. .

2, Lennox, one of Macbeth’s nobles that was suspicious of Macbeth, referred to .

Macbeth and his followers as ” weeds”. Weeds can destroy an entire crop.


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