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The Significance Of Blood In Macbeth By Shakespeare

771 words - 3 pages

Macbeth is a play that depicts the rise and fall of a man. Macbeth, a loyal servant of the king, gets ideas of dethroning the king from mischievous witches. The idea of becoming king ends up being the beginning of his downfall after his short rise. In Shakespeare’s tragedy of Macbeth , the meaning of blood changes from being used to describe a person as heroic and manly, to being insane, and then to being blood-thirsty and evil.

In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is described as a heroic and manly person because of his actions that resulted in a vast amount of blood. A captain under King Duncan’s rule describes Macbeth’s action in his monologue:
“For brave Macbeth--well he deserves that name--
Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution,
Like valour's minion carved out his passage
Till he faced the slave;
Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps,
And fix'd his head upon our battlements” (1.2.16 - 23).
The captain is describing Macbeth as “brave” because of the way he executed the enemy. Macbeth
“ne’er shook hands, nor forbade farewell to him,” or, in other words, did not hesitate to kill his enemy. This action, although it may seem cruel to the victim, is being praised as a heroic on to the king. To King Duncan, it meant that this man, Macbeth, is loyal and honorable by bringing home the victory. Macbeth, at this early time of the play, is being portrayed as a heroic and good man. Taking place around the Medieval times, men are dominant over women. In order for hard-to-complete actions to be done right, it had to be done by a man. Lady Macbeth wanted her husband to take over the thrown. She could not do it herself because of her femininity. She asked the spirits, “unsex me here, / And fill me from the crown to toe top-full / of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood” (1.5.48 - 50). To “unsex” her means to take away the female qualities of her. Manliness and heroic qualities that is meant by the use of blood are all positive ones.

Macbeth’s sanity is tested after first few times that he has killed someone. While speaking to Lady Macbeth, Macbeth says, “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash...

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