The Blood Motif Shakespeare used many motifs through out the tragedy of Macbeth. These motifs help to create an underlying theme, each one developing on its own. The blood motif, which is the most, used one that is why I selected it. Shakespeare uses the blood motif to reinforce the theme that violence leads to more violence. The blood can also symbolize the guilt that Macbeth cannot escape from. Macbeth in this story starts off as a good guy, a respectable man. But after Duncan grants Macbeth the status of Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth gets greedy, and urged on by Lady Macbeth he does the ultimate act.
He kills the king in his sleep. “And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood, which was not so before” (II. I. 46-47). This is where the guilt that Macbeth faces through out the rest of the play starts, just before he kills the king. After he kills the king he kills two more guards. “Go carry them and smear the sleepy grooms with blood” (II. ii. 50-51}, this is where Macbeth kills the two guards, and it is here where he fully commits himself to this act. By killing the king Macbeth disturbed the natural balance of the world, because in the time it was believed that the king was appointed by god.
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The rest of the play after Macbeth kills Duncan is about him trying to escape from his guilt. This guilt will ultimately lead to his down fall. Then Macbeth feels that his crown is in jeopardy, so he decides to kill Banquo so that his assets will be completely protected. “For Banquo’s issue have I filed my mind; for them the gracious Duncan have I murdered” (III, I, . 67-68), this is where Macbeth decides to have Banquo murdered, and it is with this act that he creates more guilt for himself, and which leads to madness.
Macbeth later in the play decides to kill Macduff’s family “The castle of Macduff I will surprise, Seize upon Fife, give to th’ edge o’ th’ sword His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls that trace him in his line” (IV. i. 156-159), Macbeth does this while Macduff is in England, the reason that Macbeth does this is because he felt that his throne was going to be taken over by Macduff’s heirs. Macduff learned of the murder of his family by Ross “Your castle is surprised, your wife and babes savagely slaughtered” (IV. iii. 07-208), after this Macduff and his men begin an attack on Macbeths castle. “Front to front bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself within my sword’s length set him” (IV. iii. 239-241), this is where Macduff commits to kill Macbeth. Macduff attacks Macbeth’s castle and wins. Macduff kills Macbeth which resets the holy divinity of the kingship. Macbeth who became delusional at the closeness of himself to becoming king in the begging of the play was punished for his actions, not only with death but also with an inescapable guilt that followed him.
The tragedy of Macbeth shows us that trying to disrupt the natural balance of things, or committing an act that we no to be wrong we lead us into a horrible time of inescapable guilt. This follows the theme for tragedy in that Macbeth is destroyed internally and externally. This blood, the motif that symbolizes guilt and violence that Macbeth cannot escape from, it leads him to commit violent act after violent act, which not only continues the reinforces the theme that violence leads to more violence, it also increases the guilt felt by Macbeth, which as said before ultimately leads to his downfall.