In the play Macbeth, Macbeth receives a prophecy from three supernatural witches that he will become king of Scotland. This prophecy ultimately leads to his death after he kills King Duncan and goes insane. In Macbeth, William Shakespeare uses the blood of King Duncan and the imaginary dagger to symbolize the guilt that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have to show the theme that ambition leads to guilt when immoral choices are made. One example of how the blood of King Duncan symbolizes guilt is after Macbeth kills the king and thinks he cannot get the blood of his hands. While talking to Lady Macbeth, Macbeth says “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand? No” (Shakespeare 2.2.61-64). The blood of Duncan serves as a symbol of guilt, a guilt that …show more content…
Another example of how King Duncan’s blood is a symbol of guilt is when Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking. A doctor and a gentlewoman are observing Lady Macbeth while she is sleepwalking when she says “Out, damned spot! Out, I say!” (Shakespeare 5.1.25-28). The blood she sees symbolizes her guilt for her role in killing Duncan. Earlier in the play, she said, “A little water clears us of this deed” (Shakespeare 2.2.67). Since she now feels guilty for killing the blood will not come off her hands. Her ambition to be queen pushed her to make her husband kill King Duncan. For this reason, she feels guilty and this guilt will lead to her death. A different symbol of guilt is the imaginary dagger that Macbeth sees. Before he kills Duncan he talks to the dagger and says “Thou marshall’st me the way that I was going, / And such an instrument I was to use. /And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood, ” (Shakespeare 2.1.43-48). The dagger represents his guilty conscience. His mind is trying to show him what he is about to do and turn him away from the path of immoral decisions and
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
In the play Macbeth , William Shakespeare uses blood as a symbol throughout the whole story to show the different emotions and themes within the context of the play. It’s a bit ironic for someone whose name means “the son of life” that he has to take so many lives instead of being a father to the people he was trying to rule. The play refers to blood in three key points to create great imagery in this play, guilt, honor, and family/ancestry are some strong points that this imagery is used.
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
There are several examples of characters expressing their guilt, and how blood can not be washed away; like their guilt can not be washed away. For instance, after killing King Duncan, Macbeth talks about how the blood on his hands will not wash away easily, stating “Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?”, supports this point. In act 3 scene 4, Macbeth also highlights this through "I am in blood stepped in so far that should I wade no more” . Implying by killing King Duncan, he should submit to the guilt as he has literally and metaphorically steeped in blood, he can not return to his former self. Lady Macbeth shows her guilt when she delivers her soliloquy in act 5 scene 1 in which she states, “Out, damned spot!..”, this refers to when she smeared the blood all over the guards and planted the daggers. It also demonstrates the guilt she feels as she sees blood on her hands when there is not any, this is symbolic of her
In “Macbeth" the motif of blood is presented everywhere in the story. In Macbeth blood represents bravery and honor. For instance, when it says,"For brave Macbeth well he deserves that name, disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel, which smoked with bloody execution ." Which means Macbeth defended his king's honor and his own. Also, that shows in the killing of Macdonwald when Macbeth chops him in two reveals a more violent and merciless individual than just a brave soldier.Therefore, the first meaning of blood seems to establish a sense of honor, and then second mention of blood seems to communicate
There's a lot of motif in the story “Macbeth.” In Macbeth blood symbolizes bravery to guilt and shame. Lady Macbeth asked Macbeth why he brought the bloody daggers with him and tell him that “they must lie there; go carry them and smear them the sleepy grooms with blood.” Macbeth is being a baby and not wanting to finish what him and lady Macbeth had planned. That's when lady Macbeth steps up and takes the daggers from Macbeth and finished everything. The Macbeth's puts the murder on someone else,they make it seem like they didn't do it. That quote represents wrong doing and the guilt of
In Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Macbeth hears a prophecy which makes him believe murdering the king is the only way to fulfil said prophecy, shortly after another prophecy causes him to think he is invincible, this inevitably leads to many bad choices that lead to his death. Shakespeare uses symbols such as a dagger, blood, and hallucinations to show that guilt can haunt a person forever when one abandons their morals.(TH) Shakespeare first shows this with the use of a dagger. Before actually going through with the murder of King Duncan, Macbeth sees, “...A dagger of the mind, a false creation...” (Shakespeare 2.1.38), because he already feels guilty for abandoning his morals and plotting to murder Duncan, who he used to be loyal to.(TS) Although Macbeth has killed many people in battle, this would be the first time he murders someone that is innocent, which is why he feels such overwhelming guilt.
One of the most prominent symbols of guilt throughout Macbeth is blood. Blood is symbolic even in our culture today, representing life but also death, war, and guilt. This is true in Macbeth as well: there are many instances where a character is feeling that guilt tug at him or her, and it is communicated through blood. For example, after Macbeth kills King Duncan and his wife leaves to take care of the daggers, he begins to talk to himself. “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand?” he says, “No, this my hand will rather / The multitudinous seas incarnadine, / Making the green one red” (2.2.57-60). This is one of the first instances where blood is connected to the guilt of Macbeth. Macbeth feels as though his crime has stained him, and it cannot be washed away.
Shakespeare used the image of blood to portray the central idea of Macbeth, King Duncan’s murder. The crime is foreshadowed in the second scene of the first act. The king shouts, “ What bloody man is that?” (I,ii,1) He is referring to a soldier coming in from battle. The soldier then explains to King Duncan of Macbeth’s heroics in battle. One assumes that Macbeth is bloody just like the soldier. The soldier describes Macbeth in action “Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel, / Which smoked with bloody execution.” (I,ii,17-18) This line connects Macbeth with killing, and hints at the future.
After the first murder scene, when Macbeth stabs King Duncan in his sleep, he encounters a great deal of guilt towards the murder. This is shown by a quote from Macbeth, "With all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas in carnadine, making the green one red", at this point in the play, blood is resembled mostly by guilt. What Macbeth is really saying is that not even the entire ocean could wash his hands clean of blood from this dirty deed he had committed. He feels that what he had done was so wrong and shameful there is not a way in the world to hide it, the ocean is an excellent way to portray this. After the discovery of Duncan’s murder in the third scene, Macbeth exaggerates the king’s wounds," His silver skin lac’d with his golden blood, and gash’d stabs look’d like a breach in nature..." Macbeth most likely said this to drive away any thought of him being the murderer. The word "golden" resembles the King’s blood, referring to his social status not only as a King, but as a well liked member of society. The word “blood,” produces a dreadful description of the king’s murder which aids the audience in picturing this horrific murder scene.
The scene with Macbeth finding a bloody dagger thinking “ And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood.” (2.1.55) This asserts guilt through the symbolism of blood, that Macbeth imagines blood on the dagger on the grounds that he feels guilty about what he is going to do. When Macbeth orders the murderers to kills his friend Banquo and he returns as a ghost. Macbeth tells that "There’s blood upon thy face". (3.4.16) The blood also symbolizes guilt because Macbeth indirectly kills Banquo and now Macbeth knows that the blood of a person who is murdered will come back to the person who committed the murder. Another scene utilizing blood as a symbol is when Macbeth assumes the throne as king of Scotland and mentions to Banquo about Malcolm and Donalbain fleeing to England and Ireland saying “We hear our bloody cousins are bestowed In England and in Ireland.” (3.1.33-34) The word “bloody” mention by Macbeth portrays how Macbeth wants Banquo to see that the two sons are guilty and fled because they killed their father. The recurring symbol of blood symbolizes guilt from the actions characters that are responsible for a specified wrongdoing.
“...blood will have blood...”, Macbeth is a well known book written by Shakespeare. In it, a once loyal soldier to the king of Scotland starts to seek a way for him to get the crown for himself. In Macbeth, William Shakespeare uses the imagery of blood to represent the guilt of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, demonstrating the feeling of guilt has consequences of severe punishments.
The symbolism of blood prior to, and immediately following Duncan’s murder amplifies the magnitude of Macbeth’s treachery. Following the prophecy of the witches, Macbeth contemplates the possible effects of murdering Duncan in order to gain the crown. Macbeth believes the killing of Duncan will provide "bloody instruction" to Scotland and will in turn "plague th' inventor" (1.7.9-10). This quotation characterizes the murder of Duncan as a bloody deed, therefore amplifying the severity of the crime. Prior to the murder of Duncan, Macbeth hallucinates bloody splotches on his dagger. Macbeth voices this hallucination when he states, "I see thee still, and on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood, which was not so before" (Macbeth 2.1.46-48). The false appearance of blood on Macbeth's dagger asserts his hesitancy to murder Duncan. In this case, blood symbolizes the possible guilt of Macbeth upon the murder of Duncan. Immediately following the murder of Duncan, Macbeth uses the symbol of blood to assert the magnitude of his crime. Macbeth conveys immediate concern when he states, "Will all great Neptune's ocean...
The most vivid example of guilt using the symbol of blood by Lady Macbeth is in Act 5 scene 1 lines 35-40, where she walks in her sleep and tries to rub off the spot of blood on her hand. (“Out damned spot! I say! One: two: why then ‘tis time to do’t: hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?”). Her hallucinations of blood on her hands and her constant efforts to wash it off show the agony of having guilty feelings is making her go mentally disturbed. Later on, it strains her s...
The image of blood plays an important role throughout Macbeth. Blood represents the murders that Macbeth had committed, the guilt that went along with the murders and the pain that it brought on him during his downfall. The soldier describes the violence and bloodshed, in the war between Scotland and Norway, "Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds." (I. ii. 43) foreshadows the violent nature of the play filled with murder, guilt and pain. Blood in the murder of King Duncan also plays a major role because it represents Macbeth's guilt as well as his shame for slaying King Duncan. Macbeth observes his blood stained hands and remarks "As they had seen me with these hangman's hands." (II. ii. 28) This reveals his guilt and shame because he is comparing his hands to those of an executioner's. After the murder, Macbeth refuses to return back to the bed chamber of Kind Duncan to smear the blood on the sleeping guards, because he is afraid that the blood will incriminate him further. Lady Macbeth smearing the blood onto the guards represents them trying to rub their guilt off onto the guard. "I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal, for it must seem their guilt" (II. ii. 73) but this proves to be ineffective because Macbeth ends up murdering t...