Imagery of Blood in Macbeth

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As the play opens, Macbeth's army has just defeated Norwegian invaders in a gruesome battle. As a badly shot sergeant arrives, Duncan states, "What bloody man is that? He can report, as seemeth by his plight". The sergeant then tells the story of Macbeth's heroic victories over Macdonwald and the King of Norway. The sergeant's telling of the story in itself is heroic, because his loss of blood has made him weak. Once Macbeth and Lady Macbeth leave on their murderous journey, blood comes to symbolize their guilt, they start to feel that their crimes have stained them in a way that cannot be washed clean. Macbeth cries after he has killed Duncan, even as his wife yells at him and says that a little water will wash the blood from his hands. Lady Macbeth's hallucination of blood on her hands seems to represent her feeling of guilt. She feels so guilty that she is having pshcological problems. After Macbeth has murdered King Duncan he says, "This is a sorry sight" as he looks down at his bloody hands. Lady Macbeth thinks that's a terrible thing to say and she is even more upset when she notices that he has brought the bloody knives from King Duncan's bed. She tells him that he must take the knives back and put them with the King. I think that if Lady Macbeth was worried about getting caught that she wouldn't want Macbeth to go back to the scene of the crime. It would be much easier to ditch the weapons and burn his clothes. Macbeth isn't even capable of going back to the scene of the crime because he is really shaken up. All he does while Lady Macbeth is talking to him he is staring at his bloody hands, so Lady Macbeth takes the knives from him. When she goes to put the knives back by King Duncan, Macbeth just stands and stares. Macbeth is so psychologically distraught he lets Lady Macbeth walk away with the knives. He begins to talk to himself, asking if all the water in the world can wash away the blood: "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean...
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