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How does Shakespeare use the symbol of blood to develop the characters: Lady Macbeth and Macbeth in relation to treason, guilt and murder?

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Macbeth How does Shakespeare use the symbol of blood to develop the characters: Lady Macbeth and Macbeth in relation to treason, guilt and murder? Throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare uses a symbol of blood to represent honour, bravery, treason, murder and guilt. The symbol of blood is continuously developed until it becomes the dominating theme of the play. At first Macbeth is heralded as brave and honourable, however as the play progresses, he becomes a treacherous person who is identified with death and bloodshed, and shows his guilt in many different forms. The first reference of blood (Act1 scene 2) is one of honour, and occurs when Duncan sees the injured sergeant and says 'what bloody man is that?'. The war had just ended making Macbeth a Brave hero because he is the general of the Scottish army which had won. Blood at this point in the play is represented as bravery. This implies that the first reference of blood in the play is shown as a positive thing. ...read more.


The turning point in the play, in terms of change for the two main characters occurs when King Duncan is murdered and as a result of this the audience starts to doubt whether Macbeth is really a hero. Usually murder is associated with blood and for that reason from this point onward in the play Macbeth isn't really a hero or brave he becomes a guilty, murderous person. This is starting to change the audiences view on the character of Macbeth. Nevertheless Lady Macbeth isn't totally innocent herself because she plays an immense role in helping Macbeth mentally and physically to kill the king Duncan. The theme of blood so far has been used to symbolise the development of the two main characters: Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Eventually when Duncan is murdered, blood is then represented as guilt, murder and treason. This helps Macbeth's character to change from feeling like a hero to feeling guilty. The audience notice this when Macbeth is shaken by what he has done. ...read more.


Just to keep his rein of kingdom over Scotland. Lady Macbeth eventually becomes racked with guilt from the crimes she and her husband have committed she tries to wash imaginary bloodstains from her hands, she sleepwalks and, all the while speaking of the terrible things she knows. As a result of Macbeth's killing spree Macduff becomes furious and gathers an army to invade Scotland together with Malcolm, Duncan's elder son. A battle commences when Macduff confront Macbeth. Shakespeare uses violence within this battle to create an image of this happening; he also helps to create an understanding of the audience's view of the battle. Shakespeare provides us with a gripping, sensationalized, tragic play surrounded by ambition, deception, and guilt. Emphasis of the positive influence by supernatural elements surmises an eventual downfall for the main characters: Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The play was written using a variety of literary techniques. The word blood appears 42 times within the play. Shakespeare uses this to theme the play around blood and to develop the two main characters; Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. ?? ?? ?? ?? Matthew Maher - 1 - ...read more.

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