The idea of blood in other works and novels typically evokes the idea of slaughter and massacre. However, in this play the blood symbolizes the guilt that will forever stain the palms of Macbeth and his wife. The simple act of murder that was once looked at as indifferent led to a devastating past. Macbeth expresses his guilt when he remarks, “And with thy bloody and invisible hand/ Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond/ Which keeps me pale” (3.3.48-50). Macbeth is scared by the blood of Duncan.
Macbeth shall sleep no more” (II.2.55-57). He is already panicking regarding what he has done and hearing voices that foreshadow his sleeplessness. Then, Lady Macbeth scolds him for leaving the murder weapon behind and he admits that, “I’ll go no more./ I am afraid to think what I have done./ Look on ‘t again I dare not” (II.2.65-67). He’s terrified by what he has done and cannot bear to return to the scene of his bloody crime. Instead, Lady Macbeth must to there and clean up from his murders.
Shakespeare’s objective is to show how the guilt Is driving her insane. Shakespeare also does this with the semantic field of death; “death and blood” are used through her sleep-walk. This implies that her guilt of killing Duncan is driving her insane this technique is used by Shakespeare to portray Lady Macbeth’s broken state of mind which makes her restless. In Act 2 Scene 2, the witches say "Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep,” this is exactly what has happened to Lady Macbeth as she is unable to sleep.
This is demonstrated by her imagining her hands stained by blood and her constantly trying to clean the “damned spot” away and rid her sole of the guilt. The subconscious actions of Lady Macbeth illustrate how the guilt tears apart at her integrity and ultimately destroys her with the taking “off her life”. Guilt engulfs and destroys the lives of the characters within Macbeth which showcases to the responder the true extent of guilt and impacts the audiences understanding of the play. The closing scenes of Macbeth illustrate to the responder that harmony can be restored following doom. Throughout the play the character of Macbeth selects unethical ways of climbing the social and royal hierarchy and ultimately causes chaos.
Besides Macbeth, Lady Macbeth also shows her character is deceiving by planning how Duncan will be killed. At the end of the play she dies because the guilt from helping to kill Duncan was too much of a burden on her conscience. Lastly, the witches are deceiving characters because they give confusing prophecies. Macbeth misinterprets the confusing prophecies which later lead to his tragic death. There are many appearances that show characters in the play Macbeth are deceiving, ultimately leading to tragedy.
. . who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?” (V.i.30-34) she laments as she wanders through the castle while sleepwalking. Blood symbolizes the guilt that sits like a permanent stain on the consciences of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, one that haunts them to their graves. Darkness and light is used frequently in the play and symbolizes evil and good.
Macbeth & Lady Macbeth are described as a “Dead butcher & his fiend like queen.” Is this an accurate representation of these characters? In the beginning of the first act Macbeth is portrayed as a hero, we interpret this as Macbeth has been to war, and is also Described as an admiral gentleman, however throughout the play there are many character changes within Macbeth and towards the end of the play Macbeth is no longer the admiral character he once was. “For brave Macbeth, well he deserves that name” the captain tells us, this seems a million miles away from the butcher he becomes. We are told, however, that his sword “smoked with bloody execution”, this makes him sound as if he is capable of butchering. Shakespeare uses clever adjectives throughout the play, this enable to audience to fully understand the characters within the play.
As the play goes on, Macbeth slowly looses his morality as he strives for more control whilst Lady Macbeth steps into a frantic stage of guilt. After killing the king, Macbeth starts to plot other evil undertakings as he becomes nervous that someone will take away his power. At one point he goes from wanting to needing the sovereignty, which makes him loose sight of his integrity. As Macbeth begins to immorally act in order to achieve what he hungers, the line between good and evil starts to fade. “I am in blood / Stepp’d in so far, that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o’er.” (3.4.136-138) In this quote, Macbeth is telling himself that because he has stepped into evil so deeply, it will be hard to go back to morallity because he will never be able to rid of this guilt brought onto him.
This forebodes the death of Macbeth and also Lady Macbeth by suggesting that they will not be able to kill the King and live a normal, guilt free life afterwards. Lady Macbeth then creates irony as she mocks Macbeth for thinking this way, she refers to him as a ‘coward’ and insists that this murder is necessary. This part of the play is extremely significant as we realise just how harsh Lady Macbeth is and how far she would really go. She removes any maternal characteristics that she may have had by explaining that her lack of pity would extend so far, that she would murder a baby. “Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out”.
On the other hand, his wife becomes so guilty for their deed she begins to sleepwalk and talk of their crime in the night. She becomes depressed and soon after kills herself. Then Macbeth is murdered by Macduff and many others who rebelled against the crazy king. The imagery in Macbeth used to connect with the main theme are light and darkness, blood, and sleep. The image of light and darkness are used to highlight good and evil.