When you think of blood, what do you think about? Most think of things such as death, injury, and loss. However, in the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the idea of blood is used as a motif to highlight the overarching theme of corrupting forces of power. In this case, blood or bloodshed would be the corrupting force of power. Towards the beginning of the play, Macbeth commits his first murder. Over the course of the play, Macbeth becomes more and more accustomed to the idea of murder and bloodshed. The first murder Macbeth commits acts as a sort of catalyst, a corrupting force of power the slowly overtakes Macbeth’s mind. Throughout the play Shakespeare provides several examples of the motif of blood that most often occur at times …show more content…
Macbeth was dealing with extreme feelings of unease and guilt even before he committed the murder. For example, in the play it states “And, on thy blade and dudgeon, gouts of blood,/Which was not so before. There’s no such thing./It is thy bloody business which informs/Thus to mine eyes.” Macbeth is so overcome with guilt at the simple thought of having to kill King Duncan that he hallucinates a bloody dagger. Interestingly, Macbeth seems to actually calm down after killing Duncan. For example, in the play it states, “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood/Clean from my hand?” (2.2.78-79). Macbeth is still riddled with guilt from the heinous act he has committed, yet he is noticeably calmer than he was before the murder of Duncan. At this point in the play, Macbeth still retains some innocence and he is not completely corrupt. However, as we see later on in the play, this key moment, when Macbeth murdered Duncan, leads to Macbeth's complete moral …show more content…
So, why is this the case? Well, the reason this motif shows up so often is because of its importance in relation to the overarching theme of this play, that being corrupting force of power. In this play, the corrupting force of power is blood, more specifically, the bloodshed caused by Macbeth. We can see how, over the course of the story, the bloodshed caused by Macbeth slowly but surely corrupts him beyond repair. With the initial murder of King Duncan, Macbeth was incredibly guilty even before the murder but seemed to calm down a bit after actually killing Duncan. With the second murder, that being Banquo, Macbeth killed him out of fear, yet when he saw Banquo’s ghost he was furious and wanted nothing to do with him. Banquo was, at one point, Macbeth’s closest friend, yet Macbeth gave up that relationship simply because he wanted to ensure he would stay in power. After this, Macbeth has many other people killed, including Macduff’s wife and child. When Macbeth is finally confronted about this killing by Macduff, Macbeth does not care in the slightest. Macduff goes to fight Macbeth, yet Macbeth is not afraid for he believes that he is, in a sense, invincible. So, we can see that as Macbeth killed more and more, it became easier for him to kill and it allowed him to become more and more corrupt. The one killing that started it all, the first killing of
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Closely followed by this treacherous act, they continue these bloody atrocities until it leads to their own deaths. From the perspective of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, blood symbolizes the heavy burden of guilt shown through the many crimes they committed, the high amount of significant references to blood, and the psychological struggles that they faced. Horrendously, Macbeth commits his first murderous crime in the second act. Leading up to this moment, the doubt, fear, and straining pressure offer no mercy to him.
The only time that the reader can truly see that Macbeth feels guilty for killing Duncan is before it actually happens. In act 1 scene 7 Macbeth has a long monologue seemingly battling his conscience as to whether he should really go through with his plan. He mentions how Duncan has never done wrong by him and that he is a good leader. Lady Macbeth enters the scene and then he appears to allow himself to be convinced by her that it is a good plan to kill Duncan.
Blood shows and symbolizes power because of Macbeth's battle with Macduff. When Macbeth was king he thought he had all the power, and could never be defeated. When he fought Macduff he was proved wrong because Macduff defeats Macbeth in battle. With Macbeth thinking he was invincible he went into war with too much confidence so “Yet I will try the last Before my body I throw my war like a shield”(Shakespeare 5.8 36-37). Macbeth is saying he is not a coward and will Macduff with no hesitation because he is king.
Within William Shakespere’s Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the motif of blood to craft a cautionary tale about Macbeth’s corrupt power and the never ending guilt of Lady Macbeth. The image and overall perception of Macbeth within the play truly embodies the idea of the phrase absolute power
Throughout the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare there are several mentions of blood. Blood serves a bigger purpose in the play than some may or may not, based on the first impression, recognize. The play focuses on a tragic hero who, encouraged by his wife, falls victim to being the cause of a series of unfortunate events. There is an abundance of bloodshed and in the end, it doesn’t end entirely as Macbeth planned. Our tragic hero faces guilt often, as he is the cause of many deaths in his pursuit of power.
The recurring image of blood throughout the play symbolizes guilt and the irreparable nature of one’s actions pertaining to murder, highlighting the downfall of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is the perfect image of what a man in power should be. He is brave, kind, and noble and has won over the public, but one stormy night, he
At the beginning of the play, a respected Scottish general, Macbeth, receives a prophecy from three witches that he will become king. Driven by his own ambition and the encouragement of his wife, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth murders King Duncan to secure the throne. However, after the murder, Macbeth expresses a sense of relief that the deed is done as he acknowledges the weight and consequences of his irrevocable action, “I have done the deed” (2.2.14). Macbeth also experiences hallucinations after the murder of Duncan, hearing a voice saying, “sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep” (2.1.47-48).
Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red” (2.2.59-63). This evidence shows Macbeth is now paranoid because of hearing a knock at the door. He looks at the blood on his hands and wants to wash them, but then he realizes that if he washes his hands it won’t take away the guilt. For example, Shakespeare uses the motif of blood to create the theme of guilt and remorse.
After killing Duncan, Macbeth’s mental state changes completely. The difference between the moment before the murder and the moment after is that Macbeth’s lack of determination. He feels personally responsible for the murder and wishes it never happened. Thus, he is afraid to look at the dead body and face what he has done (2.2.54-56). His regret of the murder shows the transformation of Macbeth’s attitude: he lets his remorse overpower him to the point of madness.
Blood is something most people see as gruesome and disturbing, and not something ordinary people enjoy to be in the presence of. In the play Macbeth, the playwright William Shakespeare uses the motif of blood to expose a character's thoughts and personality. Blood is an important motif constantly shown throughout the play. Macbeth, the main character, thinks he can advance to the throne without any consequences. Blood exemplifies the guilt he is now stuck with, and due to Macbeth's excessive ambition, and overwhelming guilt, he is now faced with the consequences.
Through the eyes of Macbeth, blood is a stain of guilt that one can not remove. In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the motif of blood is symbolic of fear, guilt, power and represents the theme, ambition kills. The motif of blood reoccurs continuously in Shakespear’s Macbeth, but does not lose its importance. As the play becomes more somber and gruesome, blood is mentioned more frequently.
Shakespeare uses the recurring symbol of blood to emphasize the effect of death and violence on the human psyche. The connotation that Macbeth associates with blood switches from a primary motivator to a guilty reminder. Prior to Duncan’s murder, Macbeth witnessed a floating dagger covered with blood (II.i.33). Macbeth had experienced violence and Blood is also used as a reminder of the guilt and trauma from the murder of King Duncan, the guards and Banquo. Macbeth refers to his hallucination of the ghost of Banquo: “It will have blood, they say.
Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth” explores a man’s fall from morality through committing the act of regicide, as well as ideas of guilt, greed and corruption. A motif of blood is used throughout the play to aid Shakespeare’s character development of Macbeth and it also facilitates further exploration of the figurative moral compass and culpability. Blood is used as a symbol and physical manifestation of guilt within characters throughout the play. Firstly, Shakespeare uses the motif of blood to emphasise the moral deterioration of Macbeth 's character.
In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth the symbol of blood is often represented. The symbol of blood changes throughout the play. The imagery of blood is used in two different ways, good and evil. There are several examples of this throughout the play. The symbol of blood is very important in Macbeth.