Macbeth Natural order quotes

A falcon, tow’ ringin her pride of place,/Was by a mousing owlhawk’d at and killed” can be identified as a comparison to Macbeth murdering the King since a falcon is naturally, more powerful than an owl. Is a representation of the disruption of the natural order as it compares with the ‘unnatural’ betrayal of Macbeth and his actions of disrupting the divine right to rule through regicide. Can be identified as an upset to the natural hierarchy also.
“unnatural deeds do breed unnatural trouble’s.” (Doctor, Act V, Scene I) describing how Macbeth became king. His immoral actions led him to come to power in an unnatural way, ultimately leading to all the ‘unnatural’ things that happen to him, and his surrounding environment.
“the heavens, as troubled with man’s act… by th’clock ’tis day and yet dark night strangled the travelling lamp”. (Ross, Act II, Scene IV) when Macbeth disrupts the social and political order by murdering King Duncan and ultimately usurping the throne, the balance of nature goes haywire . Storms rage, the earth tremors, animals (horses, falcon and owl) go insane and eat each other. The ‘unnatural’ events of the physical world emphasise the horror of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s acts, and ultimately mirrors the warping of their souls by their ‘ruthless’ ambition.
“knock, knock. Who’s there in h’other devil’s name?Faith, here’s an equivocator that could swear in both the scales against either scale, who committed treason enough for god’s sake, yet could not equivocate heaven. O, come in, equivocator”. (Porter, Act II, Scene III) speech provides brief comic relief from the unbearable tension of the preceding scene. But there is also a dark side to this speech: The Porter imagines himself as “the porter of hell-gate”. He imagines that Macbeth’s castle is hell, and he is in charge of letting imaginary sinners inside. This is symbolic of Macbeth’s worries that he will be sent to hell for murdering Duncan. Comparing Inverness to Hell parallels the bloody murder that just took place and foreshadows how Macbeth will rule Scotland like a ruthless tyrant.
‘The obscure bird clamoured the livelong night’. (Lennox, Act II, Scene III) The hidden owl was said to have screeched ‘strange screams of death’ all night long, the owl was seen as a bad omen and was considered as a ‘herald of death’ during the Elizabethan era.
“I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry, Did not you speak?” (Lady Macbeth, Act II, Scene II) Elizabethans believed that the ‘chirping’ of these insects, and the presence of an owl meant ‘evil/ominous things were coming. These ‘dark’ omens were seen as ‘heralds of death’. Ironically, this is said directly after the murder of King Duncan as Macbeth has ‘done the deed’.
‘I could not say amen; (Macbeth, Act II, Scene II) Macbeth fears that he is damned and cannot pronounce the holy word ‘amen’. ‘Amen’ traditionally represents agreement, good fortune and blessings, however due to Macbeth’s ‘ruthless ambition’ and immoral actions, the balance of nature has been disrupted and his ability to pronounce the the holy word has been taken from him.
‘It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman, that gives the stern’st goodnight’. (Lady Macbeth, Act II, Scene II) as the murder was committed, the call of an owl was heard. This is significant because owls signify death in many cultures (including Ancient Rome and Renaissance England). It was thought that the cry of an owl meant that someone had just died. The ‘fatal bellman’ was someone who rang a bell if somebody was near death in old England. The recurring motif of the owl throughout this scene acts as foreshadowing in a way as the owl was seen as a bad omen and meant ‘evil/ominous things were coming.

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