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Red Between The Lines: The Blood Imagery Of Macbeth

1009 words - 5 pages

The blood that consistently resembles the violence that takes place in Macbeth is an important symbol of the play. The blood acts as a reminder of the outcomes of misused power and it is also used as an image to show Macbeth and even Lady Macbeth to reflect upon their guilty deeds. However, this reminder of his guilt doesn’t prevent Macbeth from continuing his violent acts.Macbeth at the very begging of the play is described as a hero even in his darkest moments. Some very important characters in the play consist of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, the three witches, King Duncan and Banquo. Macbeth and Banquo near the begging of the play are visited by the three witches who tell Macbeth a prophesy of his own and Banquo a prophesy of his own.

Throughout Shakespeare’s play ‘Macbeth’, the recurring imagery of blood is used as a symbol to demonstrate the constant feelings of guilt felt by the characters, ultimately leading to their endless feelings of fear and horror.



Near the begging of the play Macbeth is described as a hero even in his darkest moments. Macbeth with the encouragement of Lady Macbeth kills King Duncan in order to become king. Macbeth feels somewhat guilty for his actions as his hands are covered in the kings blood.


Macbeth, “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand?” Pg.40 (Use whole quote)


Macbeth’s hands being covered in blood are reminders of his guilt and murder of the king. When Lady Macbeth mentions for him to “Go, get some water / And wash this filthy witness from your hand.” (Shakespeare, 39) Macbeth refers to Neptune (the Roman God of the sea). This shows that Macbeth believes not even the great Neptune would be able to wash the blood from his hands.


Lady Macbeth later in the play sees blood on her hands that isn’t truly their. She senses her guilt and realizes the mistake she has made but is incapable of rubbing the blood off her hands.


Lady Macbeth, “Out damned spot! Out, I say! One – two – why / then ’tis time to do it. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie! / A soldier and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, / when none can call our power to account? Yet who would / have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?” (94)


Lady Macbeth played a huge role in Macbeth’s actions throughout the play. She was the one who encouraged and even helped Macbeth plan to kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth’s guilt is shown through the blood that she believes to see on her hands and through her problems with sleep. Lady Macbeth is suffering with the guilt she brought upon herself mentally. Lady Macbeth not to long after dies in the play and even though it is not clearly sated it seems as though Lady Macbeth had killed herself.




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Macbeth is blinded by his...

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