In the play, the word "blood" is mentioned numerous times. Shakespeare's use of this particular word is significant; he uses it to develop the character of Macbeth and the unfolding events of the drama. The powerful symbolic meaning of blood changes from the beginning to the end.
Near the beginning of the play, after Macbeth and the Scottish army defeated the rebel Macdonwald's army, a bleeding sergeant comes on stage. The sergeant then proceeds to describe the battle and how bravely Macbeth and his friend Banquo fought, "For brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name- / Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel / Which smok'd with bloody execution, / Like valor's minion carv'd out his passage " (Act I, Scene 2, Lines 19-21)
Blood is symbolic of bravery and courage in this passage. Blood shed for a noble cause is good blood. However, Macbeth's character changes throughout the play are characterized by the symbolism in the blood he sheds.
Before Duncan's murder, Macbeth imagines seeing a dagger floating in the air before him. He describes it, "And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood, / Which was not so before. There's no such thing: / It is the bloody business which informs / Thus to mine eyes."
The blood imagery in this passage obviously refers to treason, ambition, and...