Macbeth Imagery Essay

Macbeth by William Shakespeare has many examples of imagery which help to develop the mood and tone of Macbeth’s tragedy, and overall play that Macbeth is. Imagery in Macbeth commonly includes references to blood, such as Macduff saying “For mine own good/All causes shall give way: I’ll not be guiltless/Of Macbeth’s blood” (Act II, scene iii) Macbeth has so many references to blood because Macbeth himself is described as having “so much blood on his hands. Macduff wants Macbeth dead because Macbeth killed Macduff’s family. Blood imagery is seen throughout the play all because of Macbeth.

Blood imagery can also be used as a theme within Macbeth; for example, when Macduff sees Duncan’s murdered body, he says: “Dispoilers of mankinde, stained with accursednesse…you starres…look not pale! ” (Act IV, Scene I). The use of stars and astronomy is often used in Macbeth to represent fate and other’s control over Macbeth’s fate. This comment furthers Macduff’s anger for Macbeth so he continues his speech with “from your origins/You are all blacke bound into sorrow, blood, and murther” (Act IV, Scene I). Macduff thought of Macbeth as the root of all evil because Macbeth committed murder which led to more murders.

Blood can also be seen as a problem within Macbeth; for example, Ross says “blood has been shed ere now” (II. i. 108) which gives an early example of foreshadowing towards future events during the play including blood being avoided rather than desired. When Macbeth is first introduced, a witch says that Macbeth will be “king hereafter” (I. iii. 28). The witches’ prophecies about Macbeth’s rise to power are inherently false because Macbeth only becomes king through his need for more power and influence over others.

In Act I, scene vii, Macduff talks of how he fears what Macbeth may do in order to become king: He has no children [daughters]; but [my] son [is] like him: ’tis true: Why should I fear? by the goodness of Heaven/Our part [Macduff’s family] shall ne’re goe witless: Heaven and our generation/Deal between them” (ll. 20-24). Macduff is speaking of Macbeth’s “countenance” (I. vii. 9) which Macduff fears because Macbeth killed Macduff’s family in order to become king, therefor Macduff would do anything to prevent that from happening again. The reference of Macbeth possibly killing Macduff’s son or daughter could be seen as foreshadowing towards the end of the play when Macduff kills Macbeth before he can kill the protagonist, Malcolm.

Blood imagery is often linked with guilt; for example, Lady Mactheland talks about blood on her hands after she notices blood stains on Macbeth’s hands: “Upon my head they plac’d a fruitless crown, [and] put [a] barren [spoil instead of jewels] upon my thighs…they have made me/Like to a weather-breeding spaniel” (II. ii. 52-55). Macbeth and Mactheland killed Duncan and Macduff’s family respectively in order to gain more power; Lady Macbeth is haunted by the blood on her hands because she feels guilt for what Macbeth did, yet Macbeth denies that he committed such acts.

Blood imagery is often associated with guilt within Macbeth because the protagonist Macbeth kills many people including his king in order to gain more power. Macbeth’s guilt is a key factor in Macbeth because Macbeth has so much blood on his hands and Macbeth eventually commits suicide which allows Macduff to gain revenge for Macbeth killing Macduff’s family, since Macduff kills Macbeth before Macbeth can kill the protagonist, Malcolm.

Blood imagery helps to develop the mood and tone of Macbeth’s tragedy because blood is often associated with death which creates an ominous feeling throughout the play. Blood imagery is also associating with guilt within Macbeth which makes readers pity MacBeth and feel bad for him throughout the story since he did not want to commit such acts but like he had no choice other than to kill Macduff’s family. Blood imagery in Macbeth is very prevalent throughout Macbeth which creates an ominous tone for Macbeths tragic story.

Macduff’s son’s death, blood on Macbeth’s hands, and Lady Macbeth feeling guilt about the blood on her hands are all examples of blood imagery within Macbeth that help create the mood and tone for MacBeth’s tragedy. Blood often symbolizes death because Duncan was murdered by Macbeth so therefore blood represents murder within Macbeth even though it also appears in reference to other characters such as when Ross mentions blood being shed before or when Lady Mactheland talks about being “like a weather-breeding spaniel” which Macbeth had killed Macduff’s family.

Blood on Macbeth’s hands at the beginning of Macbeth represents Macbeth’s guilt for killing Duncan and Macduff’s family respectively because blood is associated with guilt within Macbeth. In addition, Lady Mactheland talks about blood that was on her head and thighs after she notices blood stains on Macbeth’s hands which helps contribute to the mood and tone for MacBeth’s tragedy since readers feel bad for Macbeth throughout the story.

The imagery of blood within Macbeth is very prevalent throughout MacBeth which creates a dark mood and tone throughout the play. The appearance of blood in reference to other characters such as when Ross mentions blood being shed before Macbeth’s coronation or when Lady Macbeth is haunted by the blood on her hands because she feels guilt for what Macbeth had done are all examples of imagery that are often associated with blood within Macbeth which helps to develop the dark mood and tone.

Macbeth tells the story of Macbeth who has been recently made Thane of Glamis and Cawdor as well as being told that he will become King. Macbeth is easily persuaded by three witches who prophesize his future as king of Scotland after hearing him declare that evil will always triumph because good is dumb. Macbeth murders Macduff’s family and Macduff himself leaving Macduff to raise an army against Macbeth so Macbeth hires a man with a fake prophecy about Macduff which persuades him not to kill him.

Macduff escapes from Maceth’s castle and assembles an army. Macbeth’s wife commits suicide by poisoning herself because Macbeth killed Macduff’s family. Macduff kills Macbeth but Macduff is killed in the process. The play has many examples of imagery, mainly used to illustrate the gory violence that is involved throughout the drama. Shakespeare uses many similes and metaphors among other forms of figurative language to develop his imagery for dramatic effect.

Some of the most frequent characters use metaphors while others use similes or personification. Lady Macbeth uses a metaphor when she says, “Unsex me here” meaning that she wants them to make her masculine like them which means it would be easier for her to kill Duncan (I, vii, 41). Macbeth uses metaphors when he describes Macduff as “so potent… his red right hand” (III, ii, 67-68), in context Macbeth is describing Macduff in the sense that Macduff is very powerful.

Macbeth’s use of personification when speaking of his evil thoughts when he says, “My thought… / Whose murder yet is but fantastical” (I, iii, 7-8). Lady Macbeth also uses personification when she says to Macbeth that they should not be afraid to kill Duncan because it’s their fate saying “Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him(II, I, 29? ). ” Macbeth is talking about Macduff as “the future” when he says, “We will speak further” (IV, iii, 144).

In the scene after Macbeth’s murder of Duncan Macbeth speaks to Lady Macbeth saying that he doesn’t want to see the bloody daggers even though they are covered. Macbeth uses personification with his line, “I’ll see their faces”(V, I, 32) meaning he wants to see what everyone looks like. The most significant use of imagery in this play is with blood and its association with evil which becomes a motif within this piece. Blood has always been associated with evil including sin and death from the fall of Adam and Eve in the Bible.

Macbeth is told by three witches that he will be king one day and Macbeth believes them saying, “I will be king. (I, iii, 38)” Macbeth then sees a vision of a blood drenched thane and Macbeth says to him that he looks horrible saying “bloody instructions which/ being taught return to plague th’ inventor” (II, ii). Macbeth becomes obsessed with how much blood he has because it means that they are both more likely to become king so Macbeth kills Duncan who was his guest not thinking about what he did.

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