Use of "Blood" in Macbeth

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macbeth paper, use of "blood" april 2005

The use of imagery and "blood" in Shakespeare's play Macbeth.

Imagery is the use of symbols to convey an idea or to create a specific atmosphere for the audience. Shakespeare uses imagery in Macbeth often, the most prevalent one, is blood. I believe he uses this as a way to convey guilt, murder, betrayal, treachery and evil, and to symbolize forewarning of events. In the beginning of this play blood resembles honor, bravery, and maybe even victory. Macbeth's blood saturated sword after the war portrays him as a brave hero because of the enemy he killed. He is known as "Brave Macbeth" to everyone including Duncan, the King. His bravery is rewarded by the title of Thane of Cawdor, with the help of the current one being executed for treason. I feel that the word blood at the beginning of this play earns Macbeth's respect from not only the characters, but also the audience. After the first murder scene, when Macbeth stabs King Duncan in his sleep, he encounters a great deal of guilt towards the murder. This is shown by a quote from Macbeth, "With all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas in carnadine, making the green one red", at this point in the play, blood is resembled mostly by guilt. What Macbeth is really saying is that not even the entire ocean could wash his hands clean of blood from this dirty deed he had committed. He feels that what he had done was so wrong and shameful there is not a way in the world to hide it, the ocean is an excellent way to portray this. After the discovery of Duncan's murder in the third scene, Macbeth exaggerates the king's wounds," His silver skin lac'd with his golden blood, and gash'd stabs look'd like a breach in nature..." Macbeth most likely said this to drive away any thought of him being the murderer. The word "golden" resembles the King's blood, referring to his social status...
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