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In all of Shakespeare's plays he uses many forms of imagery. In the play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Shakespeare applies the imagery of blood and water, which are symbolized in the major themes of the play.

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Introduction

In all of Shakespeare's plays he uses many forms of imagery. In the play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Shakespeare applies the imagery of blood and water, which are symbolized in the major themes of the play. Images of blood and water are also mainly expressed together as one main symbolic image of several themes. Each detail of imagery contains an important symbol related to the major themes of the novel. Water and blood together symbolize the themes of horror, fear, death, honor, treason, guilt and evil as well. These themes are all symbolized by the constant imagery of blood and water. Blood is mentioned often in the play and most times in reference to murder or treason. Shakespeare uses the symbol of blood to represent treason, murder and death. Blood is the most important imagery of Shakespeare's play, Macbeth. Shakespeare mentions the word blood, or different forms of it often in the play. The best way to describe how the image of blood changes throughout the play is by following the character changes in Macbeth. First, Macbeth is a brave and honored soldier, but as the play progresses, Macbeth becomes identified with death and bloodshed, along with showing his guilt in different forms. ...read more.

Middle

Of which, Macduff replies, "I have no words, my voice is in my sword, thou bloodier villain then terms can give thee out". After the death of Macbeth at the hands of Macduff, the imagery of blood swings back to what it was at the beginning of the play, but it is in the honor of Malcom at this time. The death of Macbeth is honored achievement that they congratulate Macduff for. Images of blood and water occur frequently together throughout William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Shakespeare uses these images to portray the horror of the central action, Duncan's murder. The blood of King Duncan becomes too powerful for any amount of water to rinse it clean from Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's hands. It overpowers their ability to forget their actions and clear their consciences. Duncan's blood on Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's hands is symbolic of the evil crime that they had committed. The blood on their hands is also representative of the guilt, which could not be escaped. "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, Making the green one red," No amount of water could clean Macbeth's guilty conscience. ...read more.

Conclusion

She tries to clear the imaginary blood off her hands but all her efforts are in vain, "What! will these hands ne'er be clean?" . When she believes that she has succeeded in ridding herself of the stains of blood, she smells the odor of blood and comes to the inevitable conclusion that the crime can never be forgotten, "Here's the smell of the blood still: all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh! oh! oh!" . In conclusion, the imagery of blood changes from honor to treachery, and then to guilt. After, it returns to honor again after the villain that changed the imagery of blood from honor to tyranny is killed. Throughout the play, Shakespeare effectively conveys the theme of guilt, death, murder and treason through the symbol of blood. The blood and water in Macbeth may well play the most significant roll. It very accurately illustrates through symbolism the unsuccessful efforts of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to rid themselves of their guilty consciences. The blood clings to their hands and makes them unable to forget the repulsive crimes they committed. The blood and water together are best symbolized in the theme of guilt. Lady Macbeth's suicide is directly a result of her inability to rid herself of the guilt and Macbeth's execution is directly related to " blood will have blood". ...read more.

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