How Macbeth Displays a Character of a Hero

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‘Macbeth’ is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, shows how guilt brings paranoia to a person that in time will lead to his downfall. This play tells the story of Macbeth and how his seek of power led to killing King Duncan then afterwards brought him delusions caused by his guilt. Blood symbolizes guilt which leads to the delusions of Macbeth throughout the story.

At the start of the play, Macbeth displays a character of a hero. The three witches gave prophecy about an upcoming war where Macbeth will take lead and win it. “ When the hurly-burly’s done, when the battle is lost and won”. From the opening of the play, the scene starts with disturbing atmosphere, the prophecy is about a war that will come, war signifies blood, and in order for one side to win enemies need to be eliminated. The prophecy of the three witches is the beginning of Macbeth’s desperation to achieve his ambition, which in time will lead to his madness caused by his guilt. Macbeth displays bravery during the war and this heroic characteristic represents blood. “So well thy words become thee as thy wounds; they smack upon honor and both”. Bravery symbolizes blood as Macbeth led the winning of Scotland by eliminating many enemies as he can to win the battle against Norway. In Macbeth’s soliloquy blood signifies killing. “ That we but teach Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return to plague the inventor”. From symbolizing bravery it went to symbolizing killing. Which he plans to do on King Duncan but guilt haunts Macbeth’s mind.

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As the play goes, Macbeth’s character starts to change, from being a likeable character to a character that is obsessed with thoughts of dethroning King Duncan by killing him. “ And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood”. Macbeth foreshadows bloody vision and gouts of blood representing his guilt. Macbeth turns into ambitious and ruthless character. “ Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood, Clean from my hand? ”. The blood imagery from this scene shows Macbeth’s incapacity to take away the blood from his hands. The killing of King Duncan always haunts Macbeth because of guilt. After murdering King Duncan, Macbeth shows cruelty and cruelty represents blood. “ And with thy bloody and invisible hand. Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond. Which keeps me pale!. The blood of King Duncan stays on Macbeth’s hands, the imagery of blood on his hand represents guilt by displaying cruelty.

Finally, we see Macbeth’s character changes. “This is a sorry sight”. Macbeth looking at his hands with blood on it. King Duncan’s blood represents Macbeth’s murder and guilt overcomes him. Macbeth shows fear when he saw Banquo’s wounds with blood. Macbeth losing his calmness still tries to rationalise his actions. “Blood hath been shed ere now, i’ the olden time”. Macbeth’s loss of calmness because of seeing bloody wounds is the result of his guilt. The imagery of blood shows emotional and mental state of Macbeth at the end of the play. “ I am in blood. Stepped in so far that. Should I wade no more. Returning were as tedious as go’er”. The bloody imagery is the representation of Macbeth’s guilt. Macbeth’s mind is distrubed and is haunted by his crime, which lead his to his madness and destruction.

Throughout ‘Macbeth’ Shakespeare uses imagery of blood and is used as representation of Macbeth’s conscience. Macbeth starts to see blood after murdering King Duncan, this starts his hallucinations caused by the crime that he has committed. Shakespeare used blood as imagery to give importance to the guilt that Macbeth is feeling. The recurrence of blood imagery continuously plagued his mind which resulted to the change of his character, Macbeth from being a heroic person to a tyrant leader. His guilt eventually leads to hallucinations by the major character bringing him madness and leads to his destruction.       

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