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Word Count: 566
A symbol is an object that gives a deeper insight into the underlying themes of a work or literature In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare the most apparent of these is blood Blood imagery is used frequently and consistently throughout the play in fact the word blood is mentioned forty-two times The meaning of this recurrent symbol changes with Macbeth As Macbeth progresses from honorable to deceptive to guilty the definition of blood changes as well At first blood is used to display courage and bravery as in Act I Scene when Duncan says What bloody man is this as an injured solider enters He like Macbethis a warrior whose blood is respectable because it was shed for his country The soldier makes reference to Macbeths valiant efforts by saying that his sword smokd with bloody execution when he murdered an enemy There is also a reference to Duncans blood being golden because he is the most respected man the king As Macbeth begins to plot murder with Lady Macbeth he becomes more and more evil and therefore the meaning of the blood loses its purity and it too becomes a sign of betrayal and deception Banquo refers to Duncans murder as most bloody piece of work and Ross asks ist known who did this more than bloody deed Both statements display the fact that blood has now grown to define an act of treason or betrayal Finally as Macbeth becomes both paranoid and somewhat guilty for his acts the blood becomes a symbol of guilt and wrong-doing The change in meaning is marked by Macbeth speech where he states that he is so far stepped in blood that it would be impossible for him to turn back now This is the first inkling he gives the audience of his inner thoughts since the beginning of the play Slowly but surely the feeling of guilt begins to hang over Macbeth until it
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