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The use of Blood as a Motif in William Shakespeare(TM)s Macbeth

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The use of Blood as a Motif in William Shakespeare's Macbeth In William Shakespeare's Tragedy of Macbeth, he often and with different meanings uses blood as a motif and develops it until it dominates the play. The usage of blood changes throughout the play along with the transmogrification of Macbeth's character from that of a loyal subject to one of a traitor. The connotation Shakespeare designates to blood shifts from power and honour to death and murder to guilt. In various parts of Macbeth blood comes to symbolize power. One such place is in the very opening of the play when Duncan sees a sergeant approaching him in the battleground and questions, "What bloody man is that?" (5). The use of blood here signifies the captain's bravery through his wounded state, showing that even though the captain is wounded he has the courage and strength to come back and report to his King. He delivers reports of triumph and therefore making his "bloody" appearance a symbol of the violence that took place in the battle. ...read more.


The blood on the dagger foreshadows the violence and goriness that is anticipated when he executes his plan to regicide King Duncan. Macbeth goes on to acknowledge that "There's no such thing. / [and that] It is the bloody business which informs / Thus to mine [his] eyes" (27). Macbeth refers to the murder as "bloody business" (27) which adds to the sanguinary nature of the heinous crime that he is about to commit. Similarly, Donalbain warns his brother of the lurking danger in terms of, "There's daggers in men's smiles; the near'er in blood, / the nearer bloody" (37). The bard cleverly exploits the difference between the meanings of 'blood' and 'bloody' to convey the eminent threat that the heirs face. This warning issued by Donalbain to his brother, Malcolm employs the word bloody to impart the high possibility of them getting murdered as they are closely related to King Duncan and are also the heir apparent to the throne of Scotland. The evil deed of regicide becomes too much of a burden on Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and unable to bear the cross (guilt) ...read more.


/ All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand" (80). She despite advising her husband earlier feels the same insatiable need for perfume to mask the stench as her mind is drawing dreadful picture. The motif of blood in this part Macbeth plays a significant role as it symbolizes the struggle that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth under go to hide their horrid deeds. In The Tragedy of Macbeth, the way in which Shakespeare uses blood changes throughout the play along with the metamorphosis of Macbeth's character from an allegiant subject to one like Judas. The connotation Shakespeare allocates to blood shifts from power and honour to death and murder to guilt. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth go insane with the guilt over the murderous mission for power. The couple, in their destructive power, created their own torment, where they are excruciated by guilt and driven to insanity. The duo sees the guilt stain their hands and find out that it is impossible to exonerate them of the guilt. At the end of this tragedy, Shakespeare successfully establishes Macbeth as an archetype of the famous proverb "Destruction will befall the covetous. ...read more.

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