The Symbol Of Blood In William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1166 words - 5 pages

The Symbol of Blood in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Macbeth had many symbols, which were linked to the themes in the play.
One of the symbols would be blood, and the theme to follow through
with it is murder, and the dread associated with murder. A lot of the
scenes in the play, involving killing, have blood stated. Blood is a
significant symbol, when connected to the theme of killing, and is
used as a foreshadowing device as well.

The first reference of blood is one of honor, and occurs when Duncan
sees the injured sergeant and says, "What bloody man is that?"(Act 1
Sc ii, line 1). This is symbolic of the brave fighter who has been
injured in a heroic battle for his country. In the next passage, in
which the sergeant says, "Which smok'd with bloody execution"(Act 1 Sc
ii, line 18), he is referring to Macbeth's braveness. After that,
Shakespeare exploits blood as a symbol, takes place in Act 2, when
Macbeth is preparing to kill Duncan. He imagines a dagger, a bloody
dagger at that, pointing towards Duncan's room. Macbeth describes it
"And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood, which was not so
before...It is the bloody business which now informs thus to mine
eyes." (Act 2, Scene ii, 55-58). In this scene, the blood foreshadows,
that Macbeth is about to kill Duncan. It also reflects on his state of
mind, where he fears of killing Duncan, because his mind is playing
tricks on him. Shakespeare most likely put this in as premonition of
murder and death to come later in the play.
Another example of bloods use as a symbol was Act 2, Scene ii. The
symbol of blood was now used to show deceit and betrayal. Lady Macbeth
starts this off when she asks the spirits to "Make thick my blood."
What she is saying by this is that she wants to make herself numb to
all feelings and ruthless for the actions that she is about to
commend. In Act 2, Scene ii, Lines 11-12, "I laid their daggers ready;
He could not miss them". Notice how she said their daggers. She is
setting up the innocent servants of the king, making it look like they
committed this horrendous act. Lady Macbeth knows that the evidence of
blood is a treacherous symbol, and knows it will prevent the guilt
from her and Macbeth to the servants when she says "Smear the sleepy
grooms withe blood." and "If he do bleed, I'll gild the faces of the
grooms withal, for it must seem their guilt." Lady Macbeth doesn't
know that blood would become her worst enemy, in the long run, so as a
reader we could kind of foreshadow, what would happen here on in.
Furthermore, Shakespeare pertains blood as a sign of guilt. Macbeth
says, in (Act 2, Scene iii, Line 60), "Will all great Neptune's ocean
wash this blood clean from my hand?" Macbeth feels very guilty for his
actions, and doesn't,...

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