Figurative Language In Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay

617 words - 3 pages

Figurative LanguageinShakespeare's MacbethMacbeth, the play of a greedy man who achieves his goals through treachery and murder, is filled with figurative language. Its author William Shakespeare, used imagery such as light and clothing to interpret the characters or themes. He also repeated several words as motifs throughout the play. A motif is a recurring theme in a story. One of the main motifs that Shakespeare uses is the word: blood. Blood is used forty-five times in Macbeth. It is used in many different ways with many different meanings. In this play, blood symbolizes murder, guilt, kinship, and loyalty.Blood is mostly associated with murder in Macbeth. To become king, Macbeth murders the ruling king, Duncan. This prompts Macduff to say, "O nation miserable, with an untitled tyrant ...view middle of the document...

After the murder of Duncan, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both have a moment of guilt. Macbeth says, "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?" Then Lady Macbeth speaks, "Here's the smell of blood still; all the perfumes of Arabia could not sweeten this little hand." Both lines mean that Macbeth and his Lady can get niether the smell nor the stain of blood out of their hands. This serves as a reminder of their crime, making them feel guilty for what they have done. Lady Macbeth also talks of the murder and her bloody hands in Act V during a somewhat unconscious confessional. She says, "Out, damned spot, out I say! What! Will these hands never be clean?" Macbeth; however, felt guilty before the murders. He gave himself reasons not to kill the king, thus showing his reluctance for killing Duncan.Blood can also be linked to loyalty and honor. Many soldiers fought honorably in Macbeth. "What bloody man is that?" King Duncan asks in Act I. Another example is when a soldier speaks of Macbeth's bravery in battle; "Disdaining fortune, with this brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution."Finally, blood is used to depict kinship. In Act II, Macbeth tells Malcolm and Donalbain of their father's death; "The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood is stopped." Malcolm and Donalbain both flee in fear of their own lives because of their blood connection to the murdered. "The near in blood, the nearer in bloody." Also, during Macbeth's final battle against Macduff, Macbeth says, "My soul is too much charged with blood of thine already." Here Macbeth was referring to his orders to have Macduff's wife and children slaughtered.In conclusion, the word blood is one of many motifs that Shakespeare used in his play, Macbeth. This piece of figurative language possesses a range of meanings. From murder, to guilt, to honor, to kinship, Macbeth is full of blood.

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