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Word Count: 905
Imagery of Blood in Macbeth Macbeth is the story of a nobleman who while trying to fulfill a prophecy told to him by three witches murders his King to cause his ascension to the throne of Scotland After the Kings murder Macbeth reigns as a cruel and ruthless tyrant who is forced to kill more people to keep control of the throne Finally Scottish rebels combined with English forces attack Macbeths castle and Macbeth is killed by a Scottish Thane named Macduff who has sacrificed everything to see peace return to Scotland In the play the word blood is mentioned numerous times Shakespeares use of this particular word is significant he uses it to develop the character of Macbeth and the unfolding events of the drama Sparknotes The powerful symbolic meaning of blood changes from the beginning to the end Near the beginning of the play after Macbeth and the Scottish army defeated the rebel Macdonwalds army a bleeding sergeant comes on stage The sergeant then proceeds to describe the battle and how bravely Macbeth and his friend Banquo fought For brave Macbeth-well he deserves that name- Disdaining Fortune with his brandished steel Which smoked with bloody execution Like valors minion carved out his passage I ii 16-19 Blood is symbolic of bravery and courage in this passage Blood shed for a noble cause is good blood However Macbeths character changes throughout the play are characterized by the symbolism in the blood he sheds Before Duncans murder Macbeth imagines seeing a dagger floating in the air before him He describes it And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood Which was not so before Theres no such thing It is the bloody business which informs Thus to mine eyes II i 47-49 The blood imagery in this passage obviously refers to treason ambition and murder This is a stark contrast to what blood meant earlier in the play
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