Macbeth Symbolism Analysis

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In William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, there are many things that can be used for symbolism. Such as: how the weather may be, what the witches are telling someone, or how the nature scenes are described. Each of these held a significant meaning during Shakespeare’s time, or Shakespeare wouldn’t have described them many times in so much detail, in his plays. Even with all the symbols one could pull out of Macbeth, the most prominent one would have to be the symbolism of blood, because Shakespeare mentions it forty-one times. Throughout Shakespeare’s play, the recurring use of the image of blood is used as a symbol to demonstrate the constant feelings of guilt felt by the characters, ultimately leading to their feelings of fear and horror for…show more content…
In Shakespeare 's time, for play members to achieve a bloody look, “effects were created by painting, smearing, or sprinkling and by concealed bladders, sponges, and animal entrails” (Kirschbaum 517). So Macbeth travels to seek out the witches hoping they will give him insight as to who will be the one to kill him in the end. Once there, the second apparition tells Macbeth, “ for none of woman born/ Shall harm Macbeth” (4.1.80-81). Giving Macbeth the satisfaction of thinking no one would be able to kill him when the time comes. With that being said, the theme of guilt is woven into this part when the ghost of Banquo appears, after the apparitions leave, to show Macbeth that Banquo’s children will become king soon enough. This feeling of guilt is shown by an aside where Macbeth is being tortured by this…show more content…
In this act, Shakespeare uses Lady Macbeth to show how the guilt of killing four innocent people affected her. Especially when they killed King Duncan since it was ultimately Lady Macbeth’s idea. During this time, “Macbeth informs his wife of the good things that have happened to him, and she sees only a bloody staircase to the future” (Cohen par. 1). Meaning that no matter what happens in the future, the Macbeth’s will only be going down a bloody path until something is changed. That is until a doctor and a gentlewoman have been appointed to the castle to watch over Lady Macbeth while she sleeps. The reason they are there watching over Lady Macbeth, is she has started to sleep walk and talk because of the guilt she felt. When Lady Macbeth sleep walks, she will continuously move her hands in the motion as if she is washing her hands to try and get an unmoving spot off of her hands. She also says things such as, “Out, damned spot! out, I say!” (5.1.31) in hopes of getting the spot out. In the end, “Lady Macbeth no longer actively manifests the unconscious; but is passively subjected to it” (Willbern 26). Shakespeare uses the image of her constantly washing her hands to show that no matter what Lady Macbeth tries to do, the bloodstain of murder will never leave her
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