Symbolism is used in Macbeth to emphasize the corruption of power. Blood represents guilt, murder and pain. The image of blood plays an important role in showing the corruption of power and ambition and the effects it has on Macbeth.
Act 2 Scene 1
“Is this a dagger, which I see before me, or art thou but a dagger of the mind, a false creation, preceding from the heat-oppressed brain… and on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood.. it is the bloody business which informs”
= Macbeth is hallucinating a bloody dagger that is telling him to kill Duncan. The murder he will commit is foreshadowed by the bloody dagger.
Act 2 Scene 2
“Will all Great Neptune’s oceans wash this blood / Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather/ The multitudinous seas incarnadine/ Making the green one red”
= Macbeth shows his fear that the bloodshed caused by him will never wash off his hands and therefore his conscience. His overwhelming guiltmakes him believe his hands will stain the oceans red. This shows the consequences he faces as a result of his ambition
Act 3 Scene 4
“I am in blood, Stepp’d so far, that should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er.”
= Blood symbolises a river here, showing that Macbeth is too far through the river of blood to turn back now, it is easier to keep going.
Act 3 Scene 4
“It will have blood, they say. Blood will have blood”
=He will have to suffer the consequences for the blood he shed, and violence breeds violence.
Oh full of scorpions is my mind
Out out brief candle,Life is but walking shadow , a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.
“And with thy bloody and invisible hand / Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond / Which keeps me pale!”
=Blood symbolises the guilt Macbeth feels towards his murders, and the invisblehand represents him having to hide his evilness.
“Thou canst not say I did it: never shake / Thy gory locks at me”
Fair is foul, and foul is fair
Stars hide your fires, let not light see my dark and deep desires
My hand is of your color, but I would be ashamed to wear a heart so pale
I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent , only vaulting ambition that o’erleaps itself and lands in the other side.
Tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow creeps i this pettypace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time.
A told told by an idiot , full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand