Literary Tools Explored in Act 5 Scene 1 of Macbeth Essay

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William Shakespeare, a renowned novelist and playwright, is known for his use of literary tools such as imagery and symbolism amongst his various works. This remains true in the play Macbeth written by Shakespeare as it contains a great deal of imagery and symbolism for the analytical reader to examine. To begin, the use of blood has always been a particularly strong image in a piece of literary work. This couldn’t be more true in the play of Macbeth as in this play blood plays a prominent role. In act 5 scene 1, Lady Macbeth observes a “spot” of blood on her hands but despite all her efforts she fails to remove it (5.1.33). The blood on her hands, however, is not literal but is a symptom as well as symbolism of the guilt her conscience holds for the murders she had a part in committing and concealing. There is imagery in blood in this play, after the murder of King Duncan Macbeth suggests that even “Great Neptune’s Ocean” could not wash their hands clean from the stain of guilt that murder had put upon them (2.2.78). Furthermore, there is specific imagery in the words “You see her eyes are open but her senses shut” in first scene of the fifth act of Macbeth (5.1.35-36). These words written by Shakespeare but spoken by the physician and waiting gentlewoman do not only refer to the manner in which Lady Macbeth acts in this scene but the way she acted in the second scene as well. In the second scene of this play Lady Macbeth and Macbeth himself orchestrate the murder of King Duncan. In accordance to this “eyes open but senses shut” refers to the way Lady Macbeth, without empathy, compassion or remorse, aided in the death of King Duncan, observing the sequence events with her eyes but not connecting with them. Thus, it is established that in several scenes Lady Macbeth participates with her eyes open but senses shut. The play Macbeth is written in a male-dominated

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