Motif Of Blood In Macbeth Essay

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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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