Essay PreviewMore ↓
In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the motif of blood plays an important factor in the framework of the theme. A motif is a methodical approach to uncover the true meaning of the play. Macbeth, the main character in the play, thinks he can unjustly advance to the title of king without any variation of his honest self. The blood on Macbeth’s hands illustrates the guilt he must carry after plotting against King Duncan and yearning for his crown.
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 evil deed of murdering the king becomes too much of a burden on the Macbeths. The blood represents their crime, and they can not escape the sin of their actions. Macbeth realizes that in time he would get what he deserves. Since he can not ride himself of his guilt by washing the blood away, his fate may have been sealed. They
try to use water for vindication, but Macbeth says that all the water in the ocean could not cleanse his hands. He imagines the blood from the murder staining the ocean red. Lady
Macbeth differs from her husband in this aspect. She believes her conscience would be cleansed at the time her hands are physically cleaned. She tells her husband to have the same beliefs as she or he would be driven to insanity. Ironically, Lady Macbeth is the one that is driven to the brink of lunacy as she commits suicide at the end of the tragedy.
The image and scent of blood symbolizes the unending guilt of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The blood on their hands represents the inability to annul the murder from their memories. While sleepwalking, Lady Macbeth was aggravated with own hands. She was seen muttering, “Out damned spot! Out, I say!” (V,I,39) This proves that her evil deed in still on her conscience.
How to Cite this Page
"Motif of Blood in Shakespeare's Macbeth." 123HelpMe.com. 02 Apr 2020
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare has many different motifs during the store. The most common motifs in the play are blood, sleep, vision, and supernatural. There are many grim moments in play that foreshadow the horridness that macbeth and lady macbeth have done. Although there are many motifs used in Macbeth the four main one are blood, sleep, vision, and supernatural. The blood motif shows the consequences of the guilty characters. One example is when Macbeth killed King Duncan, and walked out of the room very distraught and in a haze of panic and sorrow.... [tags: Macbeth, Banquo, Macbeth, Macbeth]
1243 words (3.6 pages)
- In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the protagonist chooses to forgo civic responsibility in order to act upon his true desire of having power. This conflict not only provides for the majority of the plot, it provides Macbeth with depth of character and makes him far more relatable for the audience, and ultimately gives the work greater credibility as a tragedy by allowing the audience to empathize with the protagonist. Macbeth, over the course of the play, fails to balance his loyalty to king and country with his desire for the crown.... [tags: Macbeth, Duncan I of Scotland, William Shakespeare]
1309 words (3.7 pages)
- Ambition is frequently seen as desirable - it provides purpose, motivation to work hard, and a goal to strive towards. Yet it also has a dangerous side, when it becomes too great and out of control. Although ambition is often positive, an excess of it can have detrimental effects. This unrestrained ambition is predominant in the tragedy Macbeth. In this play, Shakespeare employs the use of hallucination, blood, and prophecy motifs to emphasize the theme of ambition, which, when goes unchecked by moral constraints, wreaks destruction upon an individual.... [tags: Macbeth, Duncan I of Scotland, Macbeth]
1035 words (3 pages)
- Role of Motifs in Shakespeare's Macbeth The best way to draw a reader into a story is to focus on knowledge drawn from other sources and add to them in a way so that the reader can relate. William Shakespeare achieves just this with his ability to enhance Macbeth with reoccurring motifs throughout the play. Possibly the most prominent ones and those that represent the greatest are the sleep and serpent motifs. J When one possesses a conscience, the function to tell the difference between right and wrong; it impedes the ability to either make positive or negative decisions.... [tags: William Shakespeare Macbeth]
1253 words (3.6 pages)
- Throughout Shakespeare’s play, “Macbeth”, Shakespeare uses various items to enhance his plot. He used many symbols, motifs, themes, and excellent character development. His development of certain characters had a major impact in “Macbeth”, by changing roles of characters he essentially changed the plot all together. The symbols that he used were there to enhance the play, and show what the protagonists were thinking or seeing. The themes he used were diverse yet they were used to show what certain scenes were all about.... [tags: Macbeth, Tragedy, Character, Protagonist]
923 words (2.6 pages)
- Blood The longest running tradition in medicine, bloodletting, was a widely accepted practice with a three-thousand year-old history from the ancient Egyptians to the late 19th century. At that time, physicians thought that disease was a curse caused by the supernatural. It was a common idea that blood carried the vital force of the body and was the seat of the soul. Anything from body weaknesses to insanity were attributed to a defect in this vital fluid. Bloodletting was a method for balancing other fluids in the body and cleansing it of impurities.... [tags: essays research papers]
620 words (1.8 pages)
- The play Macbeth written by William Shakespeare is based upon old Scotland and this is used as the general time frame. During this time, Monarchy still existed and Scotland is in war with Whales. There are many emotions that arise throughout the play, but the most important of all is ambition. “Ambition is the desire for personal achievement. Ambitious persons seek to be the best at what they choose to do for attainment, power, or superiority” (“Ambition”). The motif of ambition in the play is that being ambitious leaves one blind to certain areas and can drive one insane to reach the intended goal.... [tags: Ambition, Shakespeare, Macbeth]
1083 words (3.1 pages)
- The play, Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, is the story of a fallen hero, Macbeth. Macbeth is a well known and admired noble all throughout Scotland, but one day due to a prophecy bestowed upon him, his ideals grow shrewd and his needs more ambitious, he is accompanied by his wife, also known as Lady Macbeth, who urges and fans his greed for his personal gain. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth share many of the same characteristics when they succumb into complete darkness and when dealing with their guilt.... [tags: Macbeth, Murder, William Shakespeare]
853 words (2.4 pages)
- There will always be one prevailing evil, which is the cause of every evil that gradually follows. However, it is always good people that are seduced to act immorally, often driven by one supreme evil: selfish desires. Ambition is good, but it is what one ends up doing with that ambition that eventually seals their fate. In the play Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the recurring motif of blood and violence in order to further his theme that overreaching ambition leads to permanent consequences. Guilt was a significant consequence for the selfish killing of King Duncan, and Shakespeare shows how Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were affected by guilt through the motif of blood.... [tags: evil, story and character analysis]
927 words (2.6 pages)
- The blotches of blood stains on the once pure soul can never be cleansed. As the illusion of blood seeps through the punctured heart, the guilty conscience accumulates the state of mind that justifies the blood shed by one’s urge to exterminate those whom interfere with their “destined” fate. In the play, Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the witches’ prophecies made Macbeth bound to believe that it is plausible, therefore, Macbeth plots a plan executing those who restrain him from his pursuit for power, which ultimately ends in his inevitable death, leaving him scarred with nothing but his guilty conscience.... [tags: Tragedy, Crime]
948 words (2.7 pages)
The motif of blood in Macbeth plays a significant role. It symbolizes the efforts the Macbeths go through to hide their horrid accomplishments. They imagine the blood never leaves their hands, and the truth never leaves their minds. The crime of murder carried a guilt that neither one could discharge.