The Symbol of Blood in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

The Symbol of Blood in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

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The Symbol of Blood in William Shakespeare's Macbeth


Blood represents life, death and often injury. It is an essential part of life, and without blood, we could not live. In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the symbol of blood to represent treachery, murder and death. The word "blood", or different forms of it, appear numerous times throughout the play. Interestingly, the symbol of blood changes throughout the play, corresponding to the atmosphere and mood changes in the characters and the play.

First, blood is a reference of honor, and this occurs when Duncan sees the injured sergeant and says, "What bloody man is that?"(1.2.1). This is symbolic of the brave fighter who been injured in a valiant battle for Scotland. The sergeant goes on to describe the courageous actions of Macbeth and says, "With his brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution . . . [Macbeth] unseamed [Macdonwald] from the nave to th? chops"(1.2.20&23). This refers to Macbeth?s braveness in confronting and executing Macdonwald in battle, using his sword that is covered in the blood of the enemy. ...

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