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Blood Imagery In Macbeth Essay

731 words - 3 pages

When reading Macbeth, one might notice the repeated use of the word blood. While it might be thought that this is due to the violent nature of the play, it actually signifies a loss of innocence. This is demonstrated through the treacherous deeds of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, and Shakespeare’s reoccurring theme of the corruptibility of the human mind. By examining these, it can be determined that Shakespeare’s use of blood represents a loss of innocence.
Shakespeare demonstrates a loss of innocence, in particular through the treacherous deeds of the Macbeths. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is described as a brave and noble hero. However, after the witches’ prophecy, his ambition to become king takes over. The first major act of treachery by the Macbeths is the murder of Duncan. After the murder, Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth to “wash this filthy witness from your hand” (page 45). The “filthy witness” is the blood of Duncan on his hands, which is symbolic of the evil deed. Lady Macbeth is telling him to wash it away to regain a look of innocence. Even though the blood itself may wash away, what it is symbolic of, a loss of innocence can never be washed off. This is proven later in the play after her loss of innocence drives Lady Macbeth into insanity. In one of her sleepwalks, she says, “Out damned spot” (page 135)! She is again referring to the blood on her hands. This is her again wanting back innocence, but not being able to get it. Her stains of blood will not come off of her hands, signifying the evil deeds that she has done, which are unable to be undone. One of the final examples of this is when Macduff and Macbeth meet in their final showdown. After seeing Macduff, Macbeth tells him that “my soul is too much charged with blood of thine already” (page 153). This is Macbeth saying that he has killed too many of Macduff’s family already, one of his many treacherous deeds. The “blood of thine” is directly symbolic of his murders and further loss of innocence. Shakespeare uses...

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