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bloodmac Shakespeare's Macbeth - Images and Imagery of Blood and Sleep

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Blood and Sleep Imagery in Macbeth

Macbeth screams imagery! Shakespeare uses imagery of blood and sleep to create an atmosphere of horror, during the killing of Duncan, which contributes to our sense of Macbeth's growing insanity. Eventually Lady Macbeth's final scene is enhanced with the use of blood imagery which reflects her guilt. Shakespeare's use of imagery connects the feeling of horror from audience to play.

Macbeth held such potential for himself. He was honoured Thane of Cawdor, and who knows what else Duncan had in store for him. Unfortunately he chose not to find out, by murdering the king. The scene of Duncan's murder (II, ii) demonstrates the guilt and feeling that the blood diffuses into the air. When he returns to his chamber Lady Macbeth notices that he has brought back the blood covered daggers with him. She persuades him to bring them back to the scene of death, but he refuses by saying " I'll go no more. I am afraid to think what I have done; Look on't again I dare not. " Lady Macbeth responds ruthlessly to her husband, " Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead are but as pictures. 'Tis the eye of child hood that fears a painted devil. If he do bleed, I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal, for it must seem their guilt." Lady Macbeth tells her husband that he was acting like a child and went by herself to smear blood upon the kings grooms so it will seem like they did it. Lady Macbeth returns from Duncan's chamber telling Macbeth that her hands are covered in blood just like his. She encourages Macbeth to wash the blood from his hands to remove the evidence from their presence. " My hands are of your color... I hear a knocking...A little...

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... come, come, give me your hand! What's done cannot be undone. To bed, to bed, to bed!" Lady Macbeth is haunted by her guilt. The blood that was shed disturbs her conscience so much that she can't hide from it.

Works Cited and Consulted:

Campbell, Lily B. "Macbeth : A Study in Fear." Readings on Macbeth. Ed. Clarice

Swisher. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1999. 126-35.

Foakes, R.A. "Images of Death in Macbeth." In Focus on Macbeth. Ed. John Russell Brown. Boston: Routledge, 1987.

James IV of Scotland. "Daemonologie." In Minor Prose Works. Ed. James Craigie. Edinburgh: Scottish Text Society, 1982.

Muir, Kenneth. "Introduction." In Macbeth. Ed. Kenneth Muir. New York: Routledge, 1992.

Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Ed. Kenneth Muir. New York: Routledge, 1992.

Truax, E. "Imagery in Macbeth" Comparative Drama 23. 1990:359-76.
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