Blood is the essence of life. However, in William Shakespeare's Macbeth, it is used as a symbol of death, murder, and treason. There are several examples of this throughout the play. The first noteworthy example is when Macbeth is trying to clean his hands after murdering King Duncan. The second example comes when Macbeth talks about King Duncan's murder. The third instance is when Ross expresses his views about the King's death. The image of blood enhances the gruesome and horrible atmosphere of the play. Shakespeare conveys the message that the sight of blood illustrates an end to life in a barbaric and an inhuman manner.
Firstly, in the second scene, Macbeth is trying to wash off the blood from his hands after murdering King Duncan.
"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, 77-80)
By this, Macbeth implies that not even Neptune's ocean can wash off the blood from his hands, the measureless blood will rather make the green ocean red. The quantity of blood amplifies Macbeth's sin as a heinously committed crime. The stains of blood on Macbeth's hands show that Macbeth took an inappropriate step by killing him and he will have to suffer for it later on in his life. Thus, the image of blood shows that the murder of Duncan was an unnatural and a brutal act.
Secondly, in the third scene, Macbeth talks about Duncan's death.
"His silver skin laced with his golden blood,
And his gash`d stabs look`d like a breach
Macbeth describes King Duncan in a very noble manner; "silver laced skin , "golden blood. He refers to his royalty and his status as a king, minimizing his own chances of being a suspect of his murderer. His words like "gash`d, stabs display the extravagant bloodshed involved in the m... Continue Reading