Blood in "Macbeth" symbolizes Macbeth's sense of guilt, as well as his feeling that his guilt cannot be easily erased or "washed off." After Macbeth kills Duncan, he immediately wants to go clean his hands and erase the "guilt". He won't even return to Duncan's room to collect the bloody daggers, because he cannot bring himself to return to his shame and guilt. Lady Macbeth is there to try to hide the blood and "guilt of Macbeth", because she is willing to face the murder she plotted and hide it. He is, at first, a murderer and criminal who is highly aware of his crimes. Blood also symbolizes his growing tyranny and disrespect for others and his cruelty toward them.
Also, blood symbolizes hell and heaven for Macbeth. After the killing of Duncan, Lady Macbeth tried to calm Macbeth down reasoning that the blood will simply come off his hands. However, Macbeth was thinking a more eternal view, knowing that the blood on his hands will not come off and that he is doomed for hell.
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I agree with Michael in saying the blood symbolizes Macbeth's guilt. He murdered not only his cousin, but the king of Scotland. That is a big deal. I think that the blood also symbolizes a loss of innocence like the little bit Macbeth had, that people honored him for. I believe that when Macbeth went through with this action, he saw what he was truly capable of. He was probably astounded with the fact that he actually went through with the action. I think its different for Lady Macbeth because she didn't physically different. She did seem anxious in the beginning when Macbeth came back and she asked him if anyone saw him come back and where was one of his friends , who lived over by Duncan. Its different for Lady Macbeth, maybe to her it symbolizes her control over Macbeth, that if she can get him to murder someone so close to him,being Macbeth, then she just needs to use her words, much like Richard III to persuade him to do what she wants
When talking about Macbeth, he sees the blood as being more than just blood. He sees the blood as being his damnation for the crimes that he has committed. He states, " Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood/ Clean from my hand?" (2.2.78-79). When Macbeth states this, I believe that it refers to holy water and how Macbeth believes that no amount of holy water will be able to wash his soul of the crime that he has committed. in contrast, his wife, Lady Macbeth, does not see the blood as being anything other than just blood. She states, "A little water clears us of this deed." (2.2.86). This shows that she does not think much of the blood that is on their hands.
¬¬¬The presence of blood has more emotional and physical value for Macbeth than simply the literal sense of the word. Blood symbolizes the murder itself and the guilt he feels for his hellish deed. When Macbeth enters the room after murdering Duncan, he is repulsed by the blood on his hands. Lady Macbeth attempts to convince him that a little water will simply wash the blood away. However, Macbeth rebukes this by saying the blood will remain forever, the guilt will stay with them as long as they live. The guilt seems to drive Macbeth to paranoia and he feels that washing the blood down the drain will dirty the pure water. On another note, his lack of strength to retrieve the bloody evidence of his crime shows how deeply affected Macbeth is by the feeling of overwhelming guilt. Lady Macbeth must perform this task herself and re-position them to remove the blame from Macbeth. Macbeth freezes at the sight of blood, for the sight causes him turmoil. Macbeth is appalled and ashamed by blood; blood that runs through his very own veins.
The blood of killing King Duncan symbolizes many things but it symbolizes different things to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. To Lady Macbeth, the blood is just blood, they can wash it off of their hands and its gone and the murder should be covered up nicely. This shows the readers how morally unconcerned Lady Macbeth is about murdering Duncan and how she is already trying to distance them from the murder. But to Macbeth, the blood is more than just blood. To him it symbolizes life and death, eternal salvation or eternal damnation, a certain loss of innocence due to ambition, and the reality of the consequences to come. To him it symbolizes life and death in the obvious way of he just killed Duncan, but also in the way of himself. In Macbeth's mind killing Duncan whom was a dear friend of his, in a way was killing himself in the choice of Heaven or Hell later to come and eternally damning himself. Lady Macbeth tries to tell Macbeth it will be fine they can just wash it off with water, but Macbeth see's what he has done for what it is going to be in the future, not only in the present, and is ashamed of himself and already burdened by the guilt. This shows Macbeth's loss of innocence in the way that Macbeth murdered his friend, not an enemy on the battlefield, and even though he is traumatized by this blood at first, whats to say he can't do it again if he already see'e himself as eternally accursed.
During Macbeth before and after the murder, Macbeth’s sin against Duncan begins to haunt him in many different forms. One of these forms includes his hallucination of a floating dagger right before he kills Duncan. “And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood, / Which was not so before.—There's no such thing: / It is the bloody business which informs / Thus to mine eyes” (II.i.21). This reveals to the reader how Macbeth’s mind is already feverish before the murder to the point where he is already projecting a bloody dagger. After Macbeth murders Duncan, Shakespeare uses blood on Macbeth’s hands to show how there has been new guilt created in his mind. Lady Macbeth also begins to get haunted by the murder as in act 6 she begins to visualize a spot of blood on her hands. Even though there is not actually blood on her hands, she begins to rant, “Out, damned spot! out, I say!” (Vi.i.25). This shows the true transition of Lady Macbeth’s mindset from the beginning as she was calling Macbeth a coward just for being horrified at what he’s done to now where she is horrified by her guilt. The use of blood in Act II represents Macbeth’s downfall through his guilt of killing Duncan. When Macbeth kills Duncan, he gains the crown as king; however he regrets the circumstance for killing a person. The scene of blood for Duncan’s murder begins to represent the guilt that Macbeth has for killing Duncan. For example, Macbeth didn't have the strength to clean off the weapon that was used to kill Duncan. After the death of Duncan and the scene of blood, Macbeth didn't have the mental strength or courage to rule his people, because he was placed in a position of regretation. The view of blood in Act II places Macbeth in an opposing position which leads to his downfall through his guilt.
In scene two of Macbeth, the usage of blood in act two Is related to regret. When Lady Macbeth makes Macbeth kill Duncan, they both are almost in immediate regret. When Macbeth kills Duncan, he retreats to his room and tries to wash the blood from his hands. Lady Macbeth tells him “a little water will wash it away.” Macbeth cannot shake his regretful feeling about the blood, blood signifies guilt. In act two, Macbeth projects an image of bloody daggers. This shows how he is regretful, because he is constantly thinking of it. The blood inside act two shows how the ever looming guilt of Macbeth as well as Lady Macbeth is apparent as well as it is not easily washed away. later on during the play, Lady Macbeth is caught at night trying to wash her hands, showing that her past saying of “a little water will wash it away” is false, because it is their guilt that it shows.