What Does Blood Symbolize In Macbeth

1310 Words6 Pages
Throughout the play Macbeth the use of blood as both a symbol and more generally as a theme changes as Macbeth transforms from a loyal, brave lord into a cowardly and brutal tyrant. There is no place in the play in which Macbeth can escape blood in any of appearances; from the physical descriptions of blood to its use as a metaphor for guilt to even lineage. The first time that blood is seen in Macbeth it represents the courage of those who fought the rebels, especially brave Macbeth. This comparison of blood with valor does not last for long, for Macbeth rapidly transforms and all of his former qualities are left behind, especially courage and honor. As a result, “blood” too shifts to represent his guilt. Both he and his equally guilty wife…show more content…
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. A perfect example of this is King Duncan’s blood which Macbeth must scramble to wash off of his hands and which is used by Lady Macbeth to frame the guards for the murder. A second use of blood to convey guilt is that which only the characters themselves are able to see, as in their guilty

More about What Does Blood Symbolize In Macbeth

Open Document