Essay On Symbolism Of Blood In Macbeth

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Whether noble or insidious, blood is always used to describe the character of Macbeth. In the opening of the play, the audience is greeted with the bloody battle between the forces of Macbeth and Banquo against the invading armies of Norway and the treacherous Macdownwald. "What bloody main is that?" (Act 1, Scene 2, line 1) Here, Shakespeare uses blood to symbolize the courage and valor of defending one's country. Though Macbeth's actions are bloody, they are inherently good; they are the result of putting down a rebellion. Even as a hero Macbeth profits from the death of others. Shakespeare constantly uses references to blood to instill fearful images of the horrors that are brought upon Scotland under the reign of Macbeth. "And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood, Which was not so before" (Act 2, scene 1, line 46-47). The image of blood is now reversed. No longer representing courage and valor, but is now a symbol of the treachery that is brewing inside Macbeth's mind. "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?" (Act 2, Scene 2, line 60) Having just betrayed his friend and king, Macbeth's conscience weighs heavily on him as he realizes the severity of his actions. The blood on Macbeth's hands represents guilt that he doubts he will ever be rid of. However,…show more content…
Macduff has gone to England to raise an army and aid Malcolm in unseating Macbeth. "I have no words; My voice is in my sword, thou bloodier villain than terms can give thee out!" (Act 5, scene 8, line 7) Devastated by the death of his wife and child, Macduff seeks retribution in slaying Macbeth. "Behold where stands the usurper's cursed head" (Act 5, scene 8, line 55). Once Macbeth has been slain his severed head becomes a symbol of freedom for Scotland. This is ironic considering the head of Macdonwald, cut off by Macbeth, was at one time also a symbol of freedom for

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