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The word 'imagery' is not just a plural form of the word 'image'. Generally the word 'imagery' is used to signify not only multiplicity but also order and design. It refers to an organized and deliberate use of images in a text by the author of the text whereby his or her purpose lies in communicating something on the whole. That is to say, the concerned set of images would have a lot in common in terms of content, structure, idea and mood. It is generally such a cluster of images aesthetically developed from one to the other that is called 'imagery'. Shakespeare's iterative, recurrent and patterned imagery in Hamlet or Macbeth can be cited as examples. The recurrent imagery of blood and darkness in the plays is a case in point.
Images are more at work in poetic language than in the language of prose. In the romantic period 'imagery' was recognized as the kernel to the poetic art. Thus, in Romantic novels like those of Scott, Bronte Sisters and Mary Shelley, one can easily find a lot of natural imagery. Natural imagery means a congruous set of images depicting the world of nature. Such examples are evident more so in the Romantic era due to the romantic stress on the idea of a 'Return to Nature'.
In Hardy's Wessex Novels like The Return of the Native or Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights or even Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, natural imagery is made to work with its own agency and not just as a macrocosm; a reflector of the human world. In these novels, the systematic imagery on nature are like participants in the world of the novel.
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