Essay on bloodmac Importance of Blood in Shakespeare's Macbeth

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Importance of Blood in Macbeth

In Shakespeare's tragic play Macbeth, the symbol of blood is an important device. The fundamental physical notion of blood is a stark sign of illness or mishap that all humans must share. Within Macbeth the imagery of blood is used over and over again and it is developed by Shakespeare until it becomes not only a dominating theme but wholly integrated within the plot.

Perhaps the best way to show how the symbol of blood changes throughout the play is to follow the character changes in Macbeth. First he is a brave honored soldier, but as the play progresses acknowledged and trusted by his king, he becomes a treacherous person who has become identified with death and bloodshed, and
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The first reference of blood is one of honor, and occurs when Duncan sees the injured sergeant and says, "What bloody man is that?" This is symbolic of the brave fighter who has been injured in a valiant battle for his country. In the next passage, in which the sergeant says,

"Which smok'd with bloody execution"

he is referring to Macbeth's braveness in which his sword is covered in the hot blood of the enemy.

After these few references to honor, the symbol of blood now changes to show a theme of treachery and treason, mainly centered on the murder of Duncan. Lady Macbeth starts this off when she asks the spirits to "make thick my blood," What she is saying by this, is that she wants to make herself insensitive and remorseless for the deeds which she is about to commit. Lady Macbeth knows that the evidence of blood is a treacherous symbol, and knows it will deflect the guilt from her and Macbeth to the servants when she says "smear the sleepy grooms with blood." and

"If he do bleed, I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal, for it must seem their guilt."

When Banquo states:

"and question this most bloody piece of work,"

and Ross says "is't known who did this more than bloody deed?"

They are both inquiring as to who performed the treacherous acts

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