bibliography: macbeth paper, use of "blood" april 2005
The use of imagery and "blood" in Shakespeare's play Macbeth.
Imagery is the use of symbols to convey an idea or to create a specific atmosphere for the audience. Shakespeare uses imagery in Macbeth often, the most prevalent one, is blood. I believe he uses this as a way to convey guilt, murder, betrayal, treachery and evil, and to symbolize forewarning of events.
In the beginning of this play blood resembles honor, bravery, and maybe even victory. Macbeth's blood saturated sword after the war portrays him as a brave hero because of the enemy he killed. He is known as "Brave Macbeth" to everyone including Duncan, the King. His bravery is rewarded by the title of
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Blood is also used to display the guilt in Lady Macbeth near the end of the play. Throughout the play, Lady Macbeth is the one who tries to keep Macbeth sane and to keep from breaking. She tells him that he is a man and things around that nature to try and help him stay in control of himself. Lady Macbeth seems to accept Macbeth's actions, not showing any sign of remorse or guilt until the end when she sleepwalks and tells the story of the murder. She reveals her guilt by stating, "What, will these hands never be clean, Here's the smell of blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia could not sweeten this little hand." The imagery of blood is used in two different ways, good and evil. In the beginning of the play blood is shown as honor and bravery and towards the end it is shown as guilt and remorse. Macbeth believes what he heard from the weird sisters to be true and acts on this, which I believe helps change the meaning of blood in this play too. William Shakespeare uses imagery very well in "Macbeth," Blood being one of the most important in not only the beginning, but the end of the play