Images Of Blood In Macbeth

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A Bloody Macbeth In every tragedy there seems to be some involvement with blood. Most of the time that blood only appears when someone or something is murdered. Other than that it really serves no purpose. This is opposite in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, where in the play, the word "blood" is mentioned numerous times. It's not mentioned because tons of people are murdered, but because Shakespeare uses it as a motif that changes as the play goes on. I am not the only one that thinks this; Michael J. Cummings says “Shakespeare frequently presents images of blood in Macbeth. Sometimes it is the hot blood of the Macbeths as they plot murder; sometimes it is the spilled, innocent blood of their victims. It is also blood of guilt that does not wash…show more content…
Before he goes to sleep he tells Lady Macbeth, "All causes shall give way: I am in blood / Stepp’d in so far that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o’er:" (Act 3, Scene 4, Lines 168-170) Here Macbeth realizes that he went so far down this path of evil that it’s impossible for him to ever make up what he has done. Like Macbeth, Lady Macbeth realizes what associating herself with the murders will bring her and it torments her through nightmares. She begins to sleep walk and cries, “Out, damned spot, out, I say!...What, will these hands ne’er be clean?…Here’s the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of / Arabia will not sweeten this little hand." (Act 5, Scene 1, Lines, 37-55) The blood symbolizes Lady Macbeth’s guilt over Duncan’s murder. Her hallucination of the blood on her hands and her constant efforts to wash it off shows the suffering of having a guilty conscience, which is causing her to go insane. We later find out that she commits suicide due to it. The purpose of blood changes for the last time to a symbol of freedom when Macduff says, "I have no words: / My voice is in my sword, thou bloodier villain / Than terms can give thee out!" (Act 5, Scene 8, Lines 9-10) and then goes on to slay Macbeth. After analyzing all the different uses of blood throughout the book you can see how Shakespeare uses “blood” to show the change and transformation of characters. Like in the starting of the book it was used to describe Macbeth’s heroism, but as he started to change so did the symbol of the
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