William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” is a play that was written in the hierarchical worldview of the Middle Ages. There was the Great Chain of Being, and at the top was God, who posessed the attributes of reason and love and serves as a model of authority for the strongest and most virtuous persons. It ranked the Kings above nobles and thus nobles above the poor. When Macbeth killed Duncan to become king, the chain was violated and then resulted in chaos and darkness. Night and Darkness is used to represent the evil and unnatural conflicts between the people through the ominous tone of the work.
The play starts out with the three witches, who are the pure example of evil.. In act one scene three, Banquo refers to the three witches as “instruments of darkness” (Banquo 1,3,123), indicating their evil nature. They are surrounded by their dark domain and meet “in thunder, lightning, or in rain” (first witch, 1,1,2) evidencing their reality of darkness.
They are “Black, and midnight hags” (Macbeth 4,1,47)
The multiple murders that occur in this play, are conjoint where they all occur at night and in the evil of darkness. Macbeth is weak in the begining of the play and asks for help from darkness to help him do his evil deed. He calls out to the stars saying, “stars, hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires”(Macbeth 1,4,50-51) Here, Macbeth wants the stars to be overcome so no one including himself, can see what he is about to do. Macbeth’s wish come true when on the night of Duncans death, it was completely dark. For “There is husbandry in heaven, their candles are all out”(Banquo,2,1,5). Their were no stars and darkness was able to complete its evil deed of aiding Macbeth murder of Duncan. When Banquo was murdered, the light was extinguished and the three murderers killed him in darkness. Since darkness is in collaboration with evil, all the evil deeds must be done at night. Macbeth made sure that Duncan and Banquo must “Embrace the fate, of that dark hour”(Macbeth, 3,1,36-37)
Darkness is more evident throughout the play when it starts to mentally affect Macbeth