He can report,/ As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt/ The newest state.” (1.2.1-3), to which blood indicates the open wounds Macbeth had caused to him. Shakespeare’s use of blood in this scene represents the loyalty and honor as Macbeth killed Macdonwald in defense of the king. After the battle, Macbeth was rewarded with a new title as the Thane of Cawdor yet he was not completely satisfied as he became greedy. Shakespeare also uses bloody images to foreshadow future events associated with Macbeth’s power. Aside from symbolizing blood as honor, he uses it to demonstrate the character of Macbeth and his drastic personality change as the play progresses.
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.
Macbeth quotes, “will it not be received/ When we have mark’d with blood those sleepy two/ Of his own chamber and used their very daggers/ That they have done’t? (1.7.75-79), stating that blood is beginning to literally represent guilt, rather then symbolically. By killing Duncan with the guard’s weapons and then smearing blood all over them, Macbeth is framing them, making them guilty by using Duncan’s blood. This quote also depicts Macbeth’s transition from a morally correct ruler to a corrupt and vicious murderer. Before hearing the witch’s prophecy, he was a virtuous and ethical person, but after hearing that he is destined for kingship, he goes on a murderous rampage to gain political power, completely disregarding his previous decency.
He bewails, “It will have blood: they say, blood will have blood, (3.4.121).” After confessing his treasonous actions to his noble guests while in a dazed trance, Macbeth is now expressing his conviction that his actions will be avenged. By saying that “blood will have blood,” Macbeth is acknowledging that those with bloody hands will eventually have to face the revenge of the victims of their bloody actions. With Macbeth’s growing sense of dread, represented by the “ocean” of blood, he not only faces guilt in the sense that there is clear evidence in the form of actual blood, but also the kind of guilt blood comes to represent. When it comes to guilt, blood is seen in two different ways. First, there is the actual blood that is literally present and that can clearly prove one’s guilt.
There are an abundant amount of accounts in Shakespeare’s poem, Macbeth, which depict Macbeth as being morally ambiguous. Throughout the story, Macbeth is seen as heroic, evil, and misfortunate. Ultimately, Macbeth is tragic hero insofar as he was once a hero; however, he allowed for his ambition to get the best of him and lead him to his downfall. First of all, the beginning of the poem, the Sergeant glorifies Macbeth by notifying King Duncan of his heroic actions in battle. “For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name) disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution, like Valour’s minion carved out his passage, till he faced the slave, which never shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, till he unseamed
Thou shalt not live." (4.1.90-93) Relentlessly, Macbeth decides to kill anyway. He becomes impulsive, committing crime after crime, no longer being as thoughtful as he once was. "The very firstlings of my heart shall be the firstlings of my hand... The castle of Macduff I will surprise, seize upon Fife, ... his wife, his babies, and all unfortunate souls that trace him in his line."
Macbeth is portrayed as a "good being" because he fought for his country and for his king. Shakespeare also describes Macbeth in such quotes as "for brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name" (pg. 38, line 16), and "What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won."(pg. 40 line 67). However As the play progresses, Macbeth's personality and actions become more deceitful leading to his destruction.
In modern society, blood usually represents the marking of a horrendous deed; in Macbeth however, Shakespeare associates blood with multiple atmospheres, using the images of blood to convey multiple meanings. Throughout Macbeth, the repeated use of abundant bloody imagery shifts the underlying connotation of blood from gallant to deceitful and guilty of horrendous deeds. The recurrent utilization of bloody weapons to blood stained hands amplifies the multiple meanings of blood itself, showing how the viscous fluid can make one appear valiant and brave, and paradoxically make the same man/woman seem corrupt, guilty and deceptive. From blood emanating weapons to blood stained hands, Shakespeare uses bloody imagery to advance his theme that a
They can see how he lived during the time he served and how awful he made it seem. The best way to have a convincing argument is to make the audience see through the eyes of the author, and to make them envision a mental image of what the author has seen. Gurganus tells how he was, “dressed in ugly clothes exactly like 4,000 others, to be called a number, to be stuck among men who will brag and scrap and fight but never admit to any terror, any need” (606). This flashback makes the war sound very unappealing and an experience that most of his readers would not like to experience themselves. Through this detailed description, Gurganus adds to his argument, making the war sound even more horrific.
Owen rejects this misrepresentation of war and confronts the audience through descriptive visual imagery in the line “at every jolt, the blood came gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs”(Line 22), emphasising the gruesome details of his real experiences drawing an insight into the treacherous warfare that society for many years have thought of as noble. Owen skilfully manipulated his poetic medium to convey the psychological affects of war in Mental