William Shakespeare's symbols of blood in Macbeth shift from a triumphant medal of honor to a constant flowing of guilt. This consistent change in the meaning of blood corresponds to Macbeth's loss of conscience. As Macbeth's will to serve for the greater good of the country diminishes into a selfish, evil, and murderous method of self-preservation, the quality or strength of the opposition he faces greatly deteriorates. First Macbeth's is seen mowing down Norwegian soldiers as if they were blades of grass and later slaughtering innocent, dependable women and children. Parallel to the fate of Macbeth is that of Lady Macbeth who in the beginning of the play is a stonewalled advocate of evil and later the progression of murder and the realization that the blood of her enemies will never stop flowing eats away at her until she can bear it no longer. The couple's fall from the representation of good to that of evil is directly proportional to the loss of their substance, from inside to out.
In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is a powerful, dominating soldier. He is very good at what he does. He is a thane who serves King Duncan in the interest of the good of Scotland. .
For brave Macbeth (he deserves that name),.
Disdaining fortune, with his brandished steel,.
Which smoked with bloody execution,.
Like valor's minion, carved out his passage.
Till he faced the slave;.
Which ne"er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,.
Till he unseamed him from the nave to th" chops,.
And fixed his head upon her battlements. .
Macbeth is a good soldier. Against all odds he dominates his foes while at the same time restoring morale to his fellow troops. The blood splattered on him from the gruesome death of the traitor to Scotland is a merit badge that he can wear proudly. He kills the traitor without question in a most vile way in the name of King Duncan of Scotland. Not only does Macbeth kill the traitor, he kills many of the supporters of the traitor, or professional soldiers, single handedly.