Image Of Blood In Macbeth

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Macbeth Literary Analysis In Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, blood is a reoccurring image that is used to add meaning to the plot, however, the meaning changes as the plot progresses. Blood, which commonly signifies the essence of life, can also be used to represent just the opposite. The image of blood is used heavily in Macbeth to represent bravery, guilt, and reflect changes in the characters throughout the play. It is first used to denote bravery when the captain dies defending Duncan’s son, the meaning then changes to guilt after Macbeth murders the king and feels eternal guilt for what he has done, and finally the image of blood reflects changes in the minds of the characters as their guilty consciences continues to haunt them. The first…show more content…
As the play continues the image of blood haunts the characters so strongly it ultimately consumes their thoughts. Macbeth reveals the horror of the hallucinations his guilt has caused him when he states, “And on thy blade and dudgeon the gouts of blood/ which was not so before. There’s no such thing” (2.1.46-47). This statement reveals how Macbeth’s guilty conscience is causing him to see images that are not real. By Act V, Lady Macbeth’s guilt ultimately drives her mad, foreshadowing her death. She is found sleep walking, claiming she cannot wash the imaginary blood clean of her hands, saying, “Out damned spot” (5.1.32). The characters’ hallucinations of blood illustrate how gravely the guilt is affecting their minds. In conclusion, the image of blood in Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth is important in developing the plot. The image of blood is first used to represent bravery when the valiant captain dies, the meaning then changes to guilt after Macbeth murders the king, and finally the image of blood reflects changes in the characters’ minds as guilt consumes their thoughts. Although blood often signifies the essence of life, Shakespeare revealed that blood could be used to signify guilt that can ultimately destroy a person’s

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