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Examples Of Motifs In Macbeth

Good Essays
Kayla Bjelke
Ms. Reedy
English 11
15 January 2016
Motifs in Macbeth In Shakespeare’s play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, the motif of blood is used to represent the constant guilt felt by the characters, which ultimately leads to their endless feelings of fear. Blood comes to represent guilt soon after Macbeth and Lady Macbeth begin a murder spree that destines them for catastrophe in the future. Whether the two actually regret their decisions or not, they do begin to feel that their crimes have stained them in such a way that cannot be cleansed. The first reference of blood pertaining to guilt comes right after Duncan’s murder. At this time, Macbeth is quickly becoming aware of the moral turmoil that lies with his actions: “Will all great Neptune’s
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The initial guilt felt by Macbeth, immediately after killing Duncan has created an abiding unrest within him in which he is unable to feel completely content: “And with thy bloody and invisible hand / Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond / Which keeps me pale!” (3.2.54-6). The oxymoron, ‘bloody and invisible', used to describe the hand, shows a sharp contradiction between appearance and reality by comparing the hidden feelings of guilt to the outer shell of innocence perceived by everyone else. Macbeth must conceal his guilt to lessen any developing suspicions from other characters. To achieve his desired reign as king, which already the audience knows is not possible because of the disruption he has created within the order of society, Macbeth feels obligated to kill everyone that threatens his power. In this scene, images of blood are used once again to accentuate the guilt that lies due to the cruelty of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s crimes as they attempt to hide their constant fear reflected by their heinous…show more content…
Later on in the play, however, the guilt she feels really starts to develop and greatly affect her mentally. Unlike Macbeth’s conscious guilt, Lady Macbeth’s guilt is subconsciously expressed through her dreams while she sleepwalks. Although expressed differently, quite similarly to Macbeth’s initial reaction, Lady Macbeth implies that she is unable to rid herself of the blood: “Here’s the smell of the blood still. All / the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little / hand. O, O, O!” (5.1.53-5). Just as Macbeth said not even all the oceans would cleanse this blood from her hands, Lady Macbeth states that all the perfumes in Arabia could never get rid of the stench of blood on her hands. She is eternally cursed by the ‘smell of the
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