William Shakespeare's Repeated Reference To Blood To Establish The Theme Of Power Of Evil In Macbeth

3536 words - 14 pages

William Shakespeare's Repeated Reference to Blood to Establish the Theme of Power of Evil in Macbeth

"Enter Macbeth, with two bloody daggers"

For me, this stage direction from William Shakespeare's Macbeth was
very effective as it portrayed the power of evil to destroy.
Throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare used many references to blood to
capture the attention of the audience. The repeated reference to blood
was very powerful as we were able to understand the bloodshed, Macbeth
and :Lady Macbeth's guilt and the relationships between the different
characters.

From the beginning, we can see that Macbeth is a man with good
intentions and a good heart. Macbeth's ambition and the persuasion of
his wife Lady Macbeth lead him to commit several horrible deeds. He
aims to become the King, but in order to do this he sees that he'll
have to murder the present King, Duncan. In the end, Macbeth's
excessive ambition leads to a point of no return, and ultimately his
own death. One of the key themes of Macbeth is clearly his ambition to
become King, but there is also the important theme of the power of
evil to destroy, which occurs frequently throughout the play. The
persistent references to blood merge together to present these themes
effectively.

Right from the start of Macbeth, the blood references help us to
understand the play better. The two types of references to blood are
literal and metaphorical. The first literal indication refers to the
bloodshed at the beginning of the play when Macbeth returns from the
battlefield. It then changes to refer to what turned out to be the
first of Macbeth's serial killings. In Act II Scene II, Macbeth
murders Duncan as he wants to become the King. He then has to tackle
Duncan's sons, as they would reign after his death. However, things
did not go as he had planned and it leads to a final tragedy, which is
Macbeths own death. The metaphorical references show the life and
death issue and refer to family relationships, but the most important
metaphorical reference was clearly Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's guilt
for killing the sovereign, and also the impossibility to break free
from their culpability.

Macbeth's ambition was to become the King of Scotland, yet to do this
he had to murder Duncan and his two sons, Malcolm and Donaldbain. Lady
Macbeth strongly influences Macbeth into doing this, and although he
is very dubious of her idea at first, he begins to see things from her
point of view and carries out her suggestion. To prevent themselves
from getting caught out and getting in any danger, Macbeth and Lady
Macbeth decide to murder Duncan when he is asleep, and put the bloody
daggers beside the two grooms to imply that the grooms have murdered
him. Macbeth says,

"If he do bleed,

I'll gild the faces of the grooms withal,

For it must...

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