Symbolism of Weather in Macbeth
The weather plays an important role in Macbeth. The foul weather of thunder, lightning, rain, and strong winds have an importance in Macbeth. At the beginning of the acts, the sky is sunny and when something bad occurs the weather changes to foreshadow all the bad things that will happen in the future. When the covens appear in act one, they agree to meet by saying When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning or rain? She says this because whenever they meet up, there is always thunder, lightning, rain or all three at once. In act two Banquo says The heavens are being stingy with their light Banquo is telling his son, Fleance this because it is dark outside, and the moon is set. In act three Banquo says It will be rain tonight Banquo predicts something bad will happen before the night of his murder.
Bad weather is also used as a sign that there has been a disruption of the chain of being. The chain of being is a pyramid where the gods are at the top, the kings, the nobles and the middle class. This is supposed to be an undisturbed chain. However, Macbeth ruins this chain disrupting it to claim his position as a king. He is told by the covens that he will become king. With no idea how, he soon realizes the only way to be king is to kill the current king.
Macbeth has been driven to kill his king and his companions after being told by the weird sisters he will become king. Macbeth is losing his sanity as well as losing touch with reality. The image of the dagger with blood, the voices from when he killed Duncan and the ghost of Banquo all play an important role in Macbeth’s mental state. In act two, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth come up with a plan to murder Duncan and blame it on the knights. As Macbeth approaches Duncan’s chamber, he sees a dagger floating upon him Is this a dagger I see before me? The handle towards my hand? Come. Let me clutch thee: I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. Macbeth sees the dagger pointing towards Duncan and tries to grab it but cannot. Macbeth realized that blood was not coming out of the dagger and noticed it’s him imagining things. Macbeth then starts to hear voices talking to him while killing Duncan and he tells Lady Macbeth that he thinks he was cursed to not sleep again.
In the middle of the feast, Banquo’s ghost only appears to Macbeth. His ghost takes a seat at the dinner table and Macbeth says, Thou canst say I did it. Never shake thygory locks at me. It becomes clear that Macbeth has then lost his insanity in front of his friends and cannot control it. Eventually Lady Macbeth calls the guests to leave, seeing her husband has lost his sanity and is in complete madness. However, Macbeth takes a trip to the witches, that tell his fate in an indefinite matter again. He understood these visions and was caught up in his own insanity that he chose to envision what he wanted to see. After it became clear to what he needs to do, he decides to kill Macduff and his kin. This confirms Macbeth’s sanity for he has decided to slaughter children and women all because of visions that may or may not be real. Later in the act, Lady Macbeth starts to feel guilty as well. She has also given in to visions and hallucinations. As she sleepwalks, she believes her hands are covered in blood and cannot be washed as much as she tries here’s the smell of blood still, all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.
Imagined blood comes to guilt Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. After Macbeth kills Duncan, he believes that even Great Neptune’s Ocean could not wash away the blood after Lady Macbeth told him to wash his guilt away with water. However, water is not going to get them clean. Once Macbeth kills his friend, Banquo and comes back as a ghost, Macbeth says, blood will have blood. Macbeth thinks that you should just keep going once you have started because it will never wash out. However, Macbeth’s madness and guilt has gotten to him as well as Lady Macbeth has completely lost it. She ends up killing herself because of all the guilt.
Weather, hallucinations and blood are significant symbols in Macbeth. Weather symbolizes the disruption of how things normally go in society. The weather has a lot to do with what will happen in the play. If there is thunder, lightning or rain, it means something bad in the play will happen. Hallucinations serve a symbol of inner conflict throughout the play, it symbolizes how guilty they feel about the situation. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth see things that aren’t there and feel guilty about what they have done and cannot wash the blood from their hands from the crime they have committed. Blood symbolizes murder and guilt. After both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth participated in killing Duncan, Macbeth has not been able to stop what he started, he believes that you should continue going once you have started because those hands will never be clean.