The Change If The Immagery Of

971 words - 4 pages

The Symbolism of the Imagery of Blood In Macbeth and its Change Throughout the Play Imagery is any piece of language that makes the reader form a mental picture or image. Shakespeare's plays are always interesting for the richness of their imagery, and Macbeth in particular has numerous vivid examples. Macbeth is also particularly rich in repeated images. Shakespeare returns again and again to an idea that he has introduced. One major repeated image of the play is Blood. Also, the meaning of the image of blood changes throughout the play from first being associated with honor and changes to the murder of Duncan and guilt, then evil, and then finally back to its original meaning. In Macbeth there are more then 100 references to blood in the play. This emphasizes the violent and dark nature of the murders and of the play in general, and it also shows Macbeth's own character. At first blood is associated with honor and with Macbeth's bravery in battle. "…with his brandished steel that smoked with bloody execution…" (I.ii.18-19). This is how things normal are at the time of Macbeth; blood is usually connected with battle bravery and honor.Later on, after Macbeth kills Duncan, the meaning of blood begins to change. In Act II Scene ii, after Macbeth kills Duncan, Macbeth's hands are covered in blood, and later on, Lady Macbeth's. Macbeth reacts to the blood very differently then Lady Macbeth. Macbeth sees the blood as the symbol of his action and as the symbol of his guilt; Macbeth cannot believe what he has done and is in shock. "What hands are here! Ha! - they pluck out mine eyes! Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hands? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green on red" (II.ii.59-63). What Macbeth is saying is that nothing shall free him of this murder and of his guilt. He feels that what he has done is incredibly wrong, as he does not believe that anything could ever relive him of this action; that all the water in the world could not remove the blood. It would rather turn the ocean to a blood color. Another interpretation of the line "…my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine…" (II.ii.63) foreshadows that, since water represents good and purity, while he attempts to remove his guilt, he will defile the purity and goodness of everything else (the multitudinous seas) and kill more and more.Lady Macbeth, on the other hand, sees the blood as washable; that guilt is easily washed away. "A little water clears us of this deed; How easy is it then!" (II.ii.66-67). Notice the contrast of "a little water" to Macbeth's "multitudinous seas". These 2...

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