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Blood as a dominating theme in "Macbeth" by Shakespeare

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Blood as a dominating theme in "Macbeth" by Shakespeare

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I am going to prove that in the play Macbeth, a symbol of

blood is portrayed often(and with different meanings), and that

it is a symbol that is developed until it is the dominating theme

of the play towards the end of it.

To begin with, I found the word 'blood', or different forms

of it forty-two times (ironically, the word fear is used

forty-two times), with several other passages dealing with the

symbol. Perhaps the best way to show how the symbol of blood

changes throughout the play, is to follow the character changes

in Macbeth. First he is a brave honoured soldier, but as the

play progresses, he becomes a treacherous person who has become

identified with death and bloodshed and shows his guilt in

different forms.

The first reference of blood is one of honour, and occurs

when Duncan sees the injured sergeant and says 'What bloody man

is that?'. This is symbolic of the brave fighter who been

injured in a valiant battle for his country. In the next

passage, in which the sergeant says 'Which smok'd with bloody

execution', he is referring to Macbeth's braveness in which his

sword is covered in the hot blood of the enemy.

After these few references to honour, the symbol of blood

now changes to show a theme of treachery and treason. Lady

Macbeth starts this off when she asks the spirits to 'make thick

my blood,'. What she is saying by this, is that she wants to

make herself insensitive and remorseless for the deeds which she

is about to commit. Lady Macbeth knows that the evidence of

blood is a treacherous symbol, and knows it will deflect the

guilt from her and Macbeth to the servants when she says 'smear

the sleepy grooms with blood.', and 'If he do bleed, I'll gild

the faces of the grooms withal, for it must seem their guilt.'

When Banquo states 'and question this most bloody piece of work,'

and Ross says 'is't known who did this more than bloody deed?',

they are...