Comment on Banquo's speech in Macbeth beginning, “There's husbandry in heaven,” and ending, “in repose.” Remember that this play would originally have been performed in the daytime, using natural light.

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In Shakespeare's day, "husbandry" meant the skillful running of a household. The term also implies thrift in the day-to-day management of the domestic economy, and that's how Banquo uses it in these lines. When he says that "There's husbandry in heaven; the lights are all out," he means that the angels in heaven are illuminating only a handful of stars in order to economize. This scene foreshadows the gloom that will descend upon Scotland once Macbeth has usurped the throne. The hanging sky, darkened by the angels' stinginess, provides an appropriate backdrop for the evil that is about to take place at Macbeth's castle.

The enveloping darkness in this scene, then, is as metaphorical as it is literal. This makes it easier for an audience during an open-air performance to enter into the spirit of the scene without paying too much...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 439 words.)

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