Blood imagery in the novel Macbeth

Essay by james54321High School, 12th gradeA-, January 2009

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Macbeth a story created by Shakespeare who made the whole story with blood imagery, which created suspense and lots of mysteries which also included ambition, treason and murder. A person always plans to achieve his or her goal by first thinking about the evil ways which always leads them to destruction and confusion. The protagonist of the story is a man named Macbeth with his wife Lady Macbeth who always had ambition to do evil actions. Lady Macbeth who was an ambitious person plotted to kill Duncan the king of Scotland by her husband Macbeth in order for him to get the crown. In order for him to protect and keep his throne to himself he killed anyone who stood in his way. He does so many murders that he mentally gets sick. Macbeth’s behavior changes in the play are characterized by the symbolism in the blood he sheds. His character changes from a path of nobility and honesty all the way to deceit and evil.

Blood is shown everywhere throughout the play and symbolizes many things.

In the beginning blood imagery is used to create mystery. In Act One it is a battle between Scotland and Macdonwald’s army, Macbeth and the Scottish army defeated the Macdonwald’s army which symbolizes bravery as Macbeth and the Scottish army had killed traitors not innocent people. A sergeant who is bleeding really badly describes how Macbeth and his best friend Banquo had fought bravely not having any fear in them “For brave …..out his passage (Act I, Scene 2, Lines 19-21). Macbeth and Lady Macbeth then plans to kill Duncan and blame it on the chamberlains by smearing blood on them which would make them appear guilty. Macbeth knows that what he was going to do was evil and would haunt and make him guilty. In the beginning blood is used as a positive value, is now associated with evil.

Blood imagery is used in Act 2 by Shakespeare to create a guilty feeling in Macbeth as well as in Lady Macbeth. After the murder of Duncan, they both start to find themselves guilty. Due to the guilty feeling in Macbeth he starts to see things that are not real, for example he sees a bloody dagger with the point directed at Duncan “Is this dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee”(Act 2 Scene 1 line 40 and 41). Lady Macbeth disagreed to kill Duncan and made her husband to do the murder of Duncan by telling him that Duncan resembled of her father which shows us that she had fear in her “He could not miss ’em. Had he not resembled My father as he slept, I had done’t” (Act 2 Scene 2 Lines 16-17}. Duncan’s blood on Macbeth’s hand was a reminder to his evil act which would make him not to forget the devilish act that he committed “What hands are here? Ha! They pluck out mine eyes! With all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand” (Act 2 scene 2 lines 76-78). Blood imagery relates to the murder of Duncan throughout the Act 2.

Macbeth’s evil thoughts made him continue to do his dirty work. He hires three murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. Macbeth’s guilt here is shown by the blood on one of the murderer’s face after they killed Banquo. The symbol of blood is shown later at the feast after he sees the ghost of the murdered Banquo which is another act of blood imagery, he was shocked after he saw Banquo’s ghost “Thou canst not say I did it: never shake Thy glory locks at me” (Act 3 Scene 4 lines 63-64). Macbeth becomes so mad that he did not even know that he was leading to destruction. It is impossible for Macbeth to come back to morality as he has entered the world of evil. Blood imagery relates towards the murder of Banquo throughout Act 3.

A person always plans to achieve his or her goal by first thinking about the evil ways which always leads them to destruction and confusion. Throughout the tragic story of Macbeth, Shakespeare creates a theme with blood imagery which has suspense and lots of mysteries. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth becomes sick mentally because of their guileful acts. Lady Macbeth could not stand it neither did she find peace, so she committed suicide. Macbeth was a noble and honest person at the beginning and then started changing slowly to evil being ambitious and greedy to get the throne for himself, he then realized in the end that he would be punished for his evil acts.

Work citedThe novel made by Shakespeare. All the quotes were taken from this novel