Macbeth And Lady Macbeth 's Guilt And Its Lasting Power Essay

1399 Words Oct 23rd, 2015 null Page
In the play, Shakespeare uses the recurring element of blood to illustrate Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s guilt and its lasting power. Early on, Lady Macbeth urges evil spirits to remove the feminine, what she sees as the “kind” part of her and turn her into a cruel and unforgiving character. She goads the spirits to “make thick [her] blood. Stop up th’access and passage to remorse” (Shakespeare I. v. 50-51). The general belief in the era of the play’s setting was that the heart was the source of human emotion and compassion. The fact that Lady Macbeth wants her blood to be more viscous means that the circulation that is based on her heart will be prevented, and she will not be able to feel regret. This, centering around the idea of blood, sets the tone that Lady Macbeth will be the one steadfast in achieving power for she and her husband through all means, including murder. The notion that her blood has thickened carries on throughout the play in her words and actions, and proves to be, like blood, a stain that is hard to remove. For Lady Macbeth has changed on the inside throughout all her veins and arteries, something she cannot dilute.
Shakespeare draws on references to water in order to represent the literal cleansing and figurative lack thereof of crimes. After Macbeth murders Duncan, he is reluctant to return the daggers to the crime scene, so an irritated Lady Macbeth tells him to “go get some water and wash this filthy witness from [Macbeth’s] hand” (II. ii. 60-61). By…

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