Macbeth has several repeating symbols that assist in identifying the play's central themes. The play's storyline revolves around the concept of guilt, and these symbols are used to foreshadow this theme. Shame is a common motif, even if some of the other signs aren't as noticeable. Recurring characters in this story include blood and water as well as delusion. These symbols serve as a prelude to some topic or noteworthy event whenever they are used.
The first symbol, plasma, symbolizes Macbeth's and Lady Macbeth's guilt. Blood is a constant presence in Macbeth from beginning to end. Macbeth had blood on his hands after killing King Duncan in Act 2 Scene 2. After killing King Duncan, Macbeth confided in his wife about his guilt and horror. "Will Neptune's ocean take away this bloodshed from my hand?" he begged his wife after killing Duncan. In Macbeth's mind, returning to the crime, he'd committed scared him. The servants should have been covered in blood and blamed for the murder, but Macbeth failed to do so. As a result, the criminal had not completed their mission. With courage, Lady Macbeth returns and drenches the servants in her blood. Lady Macbeth shares Macbeth's thoughts and feelings, yet she shows no signs of emotion. Both of them share their guilt at the death of King Duncan. It was hard to comprehend that the elderly guy had so much blood. But who would have thought the older man had that much blood in him? "Lady Macbeth says, expressing her embarrassment. She asks this inquiry when she's sleepwalking through the castle hallways (Pg.213). The crimes committed by Lady Macbeth first look courageous, but she comes to regret her deeds as the play goes on. They both have blood on their hands that they can't get rid of, and it serves as a constant reminder of their crimes and humiliation.
The second sign of guilt is water. It's a water-based game for the most part. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth use water to erode the memory of their murderous deeds. Sorrow and shame engulf Macbeth after killing King Duncan, so his wife begs him to wash his hands with water to remove the lingering feelings of guilt. Nevertheless, he is convinced that not even the ocean itself would be able to wash away his guilt and that his bloody hands will stain the waters forever. It's not just one hand that will make the green one crimson (Pg.83). Although Lady Macbeth advised them to wash their sins away with water, no amount of water appeared to do the trick for these characters. While sleepwalking at the end of the film, she yells out, "Out, cursed place; out, I say!" meaning that she has still not been cleansed of her acts and that she still has resentment for them.His hands are rubbed together in the way of someone washing their hands (Pg. 213). (She knows that no amount of water will be able to wipe away the humiliation she feels in her heart. It's been a long time since I've washed these hands. She continually tries to get rid of the guilt (Pg. 213). Water is used as a metaphor for accountability throughout the play because both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth turn to it for cleansing after committing sins.
The play's hallucinations are the final clue. On his approach to assassinate Duncan, Macbeth spots a dagger lingering in the air and picks it up to use. This dagger appears to be a dagger to him, he wonders. Because of his sense of guilt, he asks, "How can I get the handle on my hand?" It is said by him (on page 71) that the dagger would disclose who the assassin really is. As the play progresses, Macbeth experiences hallucinations and sees the spirit of Banquo. Now when we had our country's honour ornamented rooftops, which may, I ask for unkindness instead of pity for misfortune!?" That Macbeth's close buddy had also been murdered. (Pg.143) On the other hand, Macbeth's wife, Lady Macbeth, looks to be just like her husband. She thinks to herself as she travels through the night, "Here's the perfume of blood still: all the fragrances of Arabia will not sweeten this tiny palm." (Pg.213). Lady Macbeth believes that would never erase her guilt, which motivates her to take her own life in the play.
Throughout Shakespeare's play, these symbols communicate a sense of guilt. The guilt of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth pushed them to act differently and transform themselves into new people. Their responsibility had altered throughout the performance, from start to end. Macbeth uses blood, water, and hallucinations as three symbols of guilt in the play's plot. These images symbolize the protagonists' shame, which often recurs throughout the novel.
Author: Anthony Pratt
Profile: English Literature & Essay Writing Help