The Symbolization Of Blood In Macbeth By William Shakespeare

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What is one thing that makes every single person on this earth alike? Blood. It is said that blood takes up almost seven percent of a person’s body weight. Blood is shed every day, whether it be from a paper cut, donations, or the splatter of a bullet taking the life of an innocent human being. Blood is everywhere. It’s not just a red liquid that escapes bodies when hurt, it’s more than that. Throughout Anglo-Saxon literature, blood is a symbolization of many different character flaws and defects in human nature. To begin with, in many different literary pieces, blood is a symbolization of the loss of innocence or innocent lives. In Beowulf, as the men of Hrothgar are asleep, the epic poem states that Grendel, the monster, “Smashed…show more content…
He realized his error in this decision when he tried to stab the dragon but as described, “The ancient blade broke, bit into the monster’s skin, drew blood, but cracked,” causing Beowulf to realize that he wasn’t going to make it out of this fight alive (Beowulf line 689). The blood that Beowulf watched come out the dragon was the guilt he felt for his need for fame and lack of preparation his people had once he was dead. Furthermore, Lady Macbeth was filled with guilt for participating in the killing of an innocent men. It haunted her so much that she was observed by a doctor while sleeping where she professed, “Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand,” as she acted out washing blood from her hands (V, i, 47). The blood Lady Macbeth was imagining on her hands was the guilt that she was trying to wash off. In addition to symbolizing innocence and guilt, the spillage of blood itself also represents the aggression within people. The act of murder is an aggressive action by definition, but the blood itself is the proof of force put into the action. Beowulf, being the unnaturally strong man he was, decided to take on Grendel with nothing but his hands. Beowulf grabbed Grendel by his arm and it is stated that Grendel, “Twisted in pain, And the bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder snapped, muscle and bone split and broke,” showing the aggression Beowulf enacted in order to kill Grendel (Beowulf line 389).

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