In William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, literary devices are used to invoke deeper thought. From the first act of the play, Macbeth uses chiasmus to introduce the tumultuous world of Macbeth. In a world of disorder, Shakespeare uses metaphors to provide insight on what the characters are thinking and feeling. The most powerful metaphor is blood, which recurs in most scenes of the play. In Macbeth, blood as a metaphor and bloody imagery to show guilt, define masculinity, and represent violence. Shakespeare directly entwines blood with guilt. In Macbeth, guilty people are continuously trying to deny their wrongdoings. However, by doing so, their mental states begin to degrade. After Lady Macbeth’s involvement in the murder of the king's guards, …show more content…
Throughout the play, Lady Macbeth constantly mocks Macbeth’s manliness, or ability to commit murder and perform violent acts. Lady Macbeth berates Macbeth when he is afraid of the blood on his hands, referring to him as a coward and not being a true man. Lady Macbeth becomes so entangled with the struggle of what a true man really is, she wishes she could see for herself, “That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, / And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full / Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood. / Stop up the access and passage to remorse” (1.5 31-34). By making her blood thick, she could commit the foul deeds that she forces her husband to do for her. It was thought in Elizabethan times that poison makes the blood thick. By the usage of the word blood Lady Macbeth suggest that men are corrupted by violence and the need for power. And that all real men should feel the need for more, or to be the …show more content…
In the beginning of the play, Duncan sees one of his captains coming back from the battlefield, “What a bloody man is that? He can report” (1.2.1). The captain that Duncan sees is drenched in blood. Once arriving the captain speaks of the brutality of Macbeth in battle. His descriptions are vivid, describing bloody swords, decapitations, and ferocious sword fighting. The time placement of the play is important because it helps understand what blood means. The play takes place in the mid-eleventh century, so it is important to remember that in these times most confrontations with enemies happened at close range, often involving a knife or a sword. These close range altercations always lead to large scale hemorrhaging and blood leaping from the man's
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With use of blood as a symbol of guilt, Shakespeare is able to develop his theme that guilt is an endless burden on the wrongdoer. Blood, in "The Tragedy of Macbeth," provides a strong, visual representation of guilt, and draws the audience 's attention towards it, both of which work to communicate powerful messages to the audience. His effective
In literature as in life, blood is not only in the body, but symbolizes many other things. The play, Macbeth, by William Shakespeare describes the life of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and how they become ruthless killers. They are determined to get power and will not stop until Macbeth and his sons are kings. Throughout the Macbeth by Shakespeare, blood is a prominent symbol and represents murder, guilt, and the difference between characters. Blood represents murder when Macbeth returns from war and when Duncan’s guards are killed. Also, blood represents the guilt of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth after the murder of Duncan. Moreover, the difference between Duncan and Lady Macbeth is represented by blood. Altogether, blood symbolizes murder, guilt, and different characters in Macbeth.
The evil deed of murdering the king becomes too much of a burden on the Macbeths. The blood represents their crime, and they can not escape the sin of their actions. Macbeth realizes that in time he would get what he deserves. Since he can not ride himself of his guilt by washing the blood away, his fate may have been sealed. They
In Shakespeare's Macbeth a play, a man named Macbeth goes through a great transformation; Macbeth goes from being a heroic general in the king's army to an assassin and a tyrant. The theme of the play is never give into evil because it destroys no matter what the benefits are. Blood Imagery is very important in the play; it shows Macbeth's evil ambition in the beginning, middle, and end of the play.
The imagery of blood shows Lady Macbeth wants to get rid of her guilt. Lady Macbeth states, “And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood” (1.5. 49-50). Lady Macbeth is saying that she wants be filled with cruelty from top to bottom and to thicken her blood because she knows that from what she is about to do, she will get guilt.
While talking to himself about possibly murdering King Duncan, Macbeth notes that if “bloody instructions” are taught, they will only return to harm those who taught them” (I.vii.9). Here, blood is used in a negative tone, as it foreshadows the harm that would to come to Macbeth if he were to kill King Duncan. Blood continues to have a negative connotation as the play continues. When Macbeth sees the dagger before him, he turns away and then turns back towards the dagger to test its legitimacy. When the dagger is still there, he notes that there are “gouts of blood” on the handle and on the blade “which was not so before” (II.i.47-48). This sudden appearance of blood mirrors the change in Macbeth’s character and the connotation of blood throughout the play. Both begin with a sense of positivity and heroism, but as the play progresses they turn into more negative and murderous beings. Because the blood on the dagger has a dark and deadly quality to it, Macbeth turns to violence in order to move up the hierarchical ranking, despite having knowledge of the repercussions of committing regicide. The shift in the connotation of blood becomes the most clear after Macbeth kills King Duncan. Once he committed the act, Macbeth questions if he will ever be able to truly wash King Duncan’s blood “clean from my hand” (II.ii.64). The blood is used as a foil for the guilt Macbeth feels after murdering King Duncan; even though he may be able to wash the physical blood away, his hands are forever dirty with the murder of King
Highly regarded English poet and playwright, William Shakespeare, in his famous play, Macbeth, analyzes the mind shattering effects of guilt with imagery of blood. In order to frighten his audience and readers, Shakespeare constructs a tone of despair that warns about the consequences of sin on the psyche.
In many contexts, blood symbolizes one’s heroism and power. At the battlegrounds, Duncan notices the approaching sergeant and asks, “What bloody man is that?”(I.ii.1). The use of blood signifies the captain’s bravery through his wounded state. He reports back their victory and symbolizes the violence that took place. This also alludes to Macbeth’s heroic qualities in which he too had fought on the same grounds. Lady Macbeth cries out for courage and strength by saying, “And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full / Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood” (I.v.49-50). The use of blood in this context also relates to one’s power using the idea of it being a life source and a vital part to the soul. By thickening her b...
William Shakespeare’s play, (if indeed he did write it) Macbeth is rife with killing, and is probably only second in bloodiness to his earlier play, Titus Andronicus. Not only is blood a key part of the plot for obvious reasons, it is also an example of imagery, representing several different symbols throughout the play. In the beginning, blood represents honor. Later, blood seems to show treachery. A the end of the play Shakespeare uses blood to show Macbeth’s guilt for all his evil and greedy acts.
William Shakespeare uses many techniques to liven the intensity, and the excitement in his plays. In the play of MacBeth, Shakespeare uses blood imagery to add a sense of fear, guilt, shame, insanity, and anger to the atmosphere. The use of blood imagery allows the audience to vision in their minds the crime scene where Duncan was murdered, as well as the scene where Lady MacBeth tries to cope with the consequences of her actions. The talk and sight of blood has a great impact on the strength and depth of the use of blood imagery.
Macbeth evolved immensely as a character throughout the play and so did other characters such as Lady Macbeth. Blood caused the husband-wife to feel guilty and regret their actions. It caused Macbeth to hallucinate and “see” the result of his actions. Blood and death linked together to remind characters of the many deaths that had occurred during Macbeth’s rise and fall. Violence and murder popped up in the heads of those who thought of or imagined seeing blood. Blood played a huge role in Shakespeare’s play and was more influential when characters thought of it or imagined it instead of actually seeing blood with their own
At the beginning of the play, the bloody captain and Lady Macbeth have very different opinions of what is brave (especially the qualities of bravery that Macbeth either shows or does not show) and both use different images of milk and blood to prove their point. The captain is bleeding because he fought bravely in battle, especially against Malcolm’s (the son of King Duncan of Scotland) “captivity” (I ii 6). His wounds signify his loyalty to Scotland. In his severely wounded state, however, the bloody captain decides to speak about Macbeth’s bravery against the Norwegian invaders and especially the rebel leader Macdonwald to the King. Macbeth has been killing so many people that his sword “smoke[s]” (I ii 21), or steams, with blood. These “execution[s]” (I ii 21) foreshadow his many other murders with his “brandished steel” (I ii 20) later on in the play. These executions are not for the good of Scotland, but for his acquiring (and guarding) the title of King of Scotland. Later in Act I, Lady Macbeth reads a letter from Macbeth telling her about the witches’ prophecy for Macbeth and Banquo, how he was hailed Thane of Cawdor by the witches and would eventually be King. Instantly, Lady Macbeth began plotting as to how Macbeth would go about murdering King Duncan to gain the title. However, she “fear[s]” (I v 15) that Macbeth’s human “nature” (I v 15) is too “milk[y]” ...
Shakespeare employs the powerful symbol of blood to augment the tragic nature of Macbeth, while dually adding dramatic effect to the play. Blood’s recurring symbolism throughout the play constantly reminds the audience of the Macbeth’s irreconcilable guilt. Blood’s symbolism in the murder of Duncan transforms an act of treachery into a ghastly betrayal. The symbolic appearance of blood throughout the intermediate parts of the play maintains the depth of the Macbeth’s unforgiveable guilt. The use of blood as a symbol in the conclusion of the play asserts the perpetuity of the Macbeth’s guilt. Shakespeare’s inclusion of blood as a major symbol in Macbeth creates a compelling tragedy in which the audience is able to comprehend the magnitude of the Macbeth’s irreconcilable guilt.