One of the themes in the tragedy of Macbeth is that of blood. Macbeth is known for his skills as a warrior and his mercilessness that is shown in his killing of MacDonwald. This warrior mentality quickly spreads into his life, and he begins to make killing a habit. When he is told in a prophecy that he shall be king, Macbeth takes it upon himself to murder Duncan, king of Scotland. After this murder he begins to see visions of blood on his hands, blood nothing could remove. As Macbeth becomes more ambitious, he also begins to kill more people to get the power that he wants. The theme of blood is shown throughout the play, and is a problem that Macbeth finds harder and harder to rid himself of after each killing.
In conclusion, blood in Macbeth is a juxtaposition, it leads to victory, however it also leads to tragedy and guilt. The theme of violence and cruelty can be revealed by the imagery of blood because when there is violence or cruelty there is most likely blood.
In William Shakespeare's play, Macbeth, imagery is found throughout as it is demonstrated in clothing, blood/murder, and finally lightness and darkness. It reveals different things about characters in play such as suspicion of Banquo and Macduff of Macbeth on how he became the King of Scotland, to Macbeth’s fear of losing the crown which revealed his evil side to commit murder to try and protect what he has wanted all of his life. Macbeth’s choices put his life in jeopardy. In life, there are little things people look over that may just open their eyes and see the world from a new
Shakespeare’s use of blood imagery builds the initial characterization of Macbeth in Act I as having an ability to display and feel guilt and his hesitance to commit treason with this quote, “We still have judgment here, that we but teach bloody instructions, which, being taught, return to plague the inventor” (Shakespeare 39). This quote is important to Macbeth’s characterization because he is able to think about Duncan’s murder rationally at this point. He attempts to show Lady Macbeth the consequences of their actions, to no avail. Even though they still commit the murder, this quote demonstrates that at this time in the play, Macbeth is still able to feel guilt over it. Macbeth’s characterization can also be shown in ...
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.
After reading the book Macbeth, we found a lot of motifs from this book. However, there is only one motif that really impressed me--- "blood". As we know, from act 1, Macbeth's mind was directed by his ambition, from that on, his mind did not lead his body anymore. In order to achieve his goal--to be the king. He kept to kill more and more people. So the motif "blood" started to showing up since then.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.