English II (H)
6 November 2012
Blood in The Tragedy of Macbeth and Lord of the Flies
In both Lord of the Flies by William Golding and The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, blood is used to symbolize violence in man, whether it is portraying loss of innocence and the malicious urges of a corrupted heart or the deep guilt scarring an individual after a murder.
The Tragedy of Macbeth uses blood as a symbol repeatedly throughout the plot. The play is about a young nobleman of Scotland named Macbeth. After a long day of fighting, Macbeth and another character named Banquo cross paths with three weird sisters. When the witches first spoke, they told a prophecy, “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!”(1.3.48-50). After Macbeth learned his future, he and his wife plotted to kill the king of Scotland. Initially after the murder, Macbeth felt guilty for his sin, and uses blood to literally and symbolically show his guilt. “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”(2.2.59-62). Blood in this specific example portrays the intense feeling of guilt that Macbeth had. He believed that nothing would take the blood spilled from the murder off of his hands. This is very similar to how Jack from Lord of the Flies felt first about the idea of him killing the innocent. The first time the boys on the island hunted down a pig to kill, Jack had the opportunity to kill it but did not. This relates back to the guilt felt by Macbeth, as both examples show the characters feelings about bloodshed before they became killers. Both Macbeth and Jack seemed brave to anyone viewing them, but were scared of murder in the beginning. However, as both plots thickened, the characters changed for the worse and went on to kill more and more....
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