Symbolism Of Blood In Macbeth
No; this hand will rather / The multitudinous seas incarnadine, / Making the green one red." (Act II, Scene 2, Lines 71-75)
This passage illustrates the act of murder has changed Macbeth's character. No longer does the blood connote an image of ambition; it now symbolizes guilt, remorse, and an entry into the gates of hell from which no one can return. Macbeth laments that not even all the water in the ocean will wash the blood off his hands, he is beginning to realize the magnitude of his crime, and that he has done something truly evil.
This same blood symbolism continues when Macbeth, shortly after he sees the ghost of the murdered Banquo at his feast, goes into a state of shock and has to be escorted back to his chamber by Lady Macbeth. He tells Lady Macbeth before he goes to sleep, "All causes shall give way: I am in blood / Stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o'er:" (Act III, Scene 4, Lines …show more content…
He will be forced to kill more and more people in order to retain control of the throne. The sins he has committed have not only perverted his virtuous life, but have condemned him to an eternity in hell. There is no chance of redemption; he has permanently allied himself with the forces of evil.
Like her husband, the once ambitious Lady Macbeth finally realizes the significance of associating herself in the murder plot, and the severe repercussions it will bring. Tormented by nightmares, she sleepwalks through her bedroom and cries, "What, will these hands ne'er be clean? Here's the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of / Arabia will not sweeten this little hand." (Act V, Scene 1, Lines 40, 46-47)
The blood imagery exhibits Lady Macbeth's guilt over Duncan's murder. Her hallucinations of blood on her hands and her constant efforts to wash it off demonstrate that the agony of having guilty feelings is causing her to go insane. We later learn that this guilt strains her mind to the point that she commits