Lady Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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“It will have blood: they say blood will have blood” (Mac. 3.4.149). These famous words are the words Macbeth speaks as he realizes that he is turning into a tyrant and murderer. William Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, shows an honorable, powerful general, thoroughly loyal to the king, as he metamorphoses into a merciless, paranoid king that kills anyone who might not respect him. His regicide slowly drives him insane. Shakespeare uses blood and animal imagery to show the rise and downfall of Macbeth, as a leader transforms from a distinguished, intelligent man to a sunken, spiritless humanoid. Macbeth is described as lion and eagle in the beginning scene of the play because of his heroic deeds on the battlefield. Lions are thought of as kings, and the most powerful predator of the land. They are not known to be fearful, and they are thought to be a regal creature. Eagles are massive creatures of the sky, with little to fear. They are imperial birds that don’t back down when they are offered a fight. Macbeth is like both of these noble animals in his actions on the battlefield. His blade “smoked with bloody execution like valor's minion.” (Mac. 1.2.20-21). He led the army with such bravery and strength that King Duncan decides to promote him. Despite their noble qualities, eagles and lions have a bad side as well. Eagles prefer to steal food than actually hunt for it, and lions fight amongst themselves, often for leadership. Macbeth has a noble start, like these animals, but on his way back from the battle, he met the three witches, who prophesied him to be king. This plants the seeds of evil, and Macbeth starts to change, demonstrating the dishonorable qualities of these animals. After meeting the witches, he thinks of killing... ... middle of paper ... ...mbered as a tyrant, as a “Dead butcher and his fiend-like queen” (Mac.5.8.79). Like a hell hound, Macbeth is known for his killing and fear. Macbeth rose and fell through death. His reign was not natural, and he was promoted through unnatural deeds, and perished as atonement for the bloody deed that he undertook. Macbeth descended to the point where he had to kill to keep living, but the killing caught up to him. Through the use animal and blood imagery, Shakespeare portrays how Macbeth rose to kingship and fell to death. Macbeth was a great man that transformed from a dignified, brilliant leader to a dwindling, despondent mortal. From eagle to owl and finally to hell-kite and hell-hound, Macbeth used bloodshed to carve his way to the top, and blood was ultimately his downfall. Works Cited Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Clayton, Delaware: Prestwick, 2005. Print.

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