Lady Macbeth Symbols Analysis

Words: 421
Pages: 2

There are three predominant symbols in William Shakespeare's play Macbeth ; blood, water represented by the motion of washing hands and hallucinations. By combining all three symbols the reader is introduced to the overall theme of the play, guilt. The three versions of symbolism are all demonstrated by Lady Macbeth in Act 5 Scene 1 of the play.

" Here's the smell of blood still; all the perfumes in Arabia will not sweeten this little hand", (Shakespeare.5.1.45). In this scene Lady Macbeth is smelling blood , a scent that she believes she will never get rid of no matter how hard she tries. Blood symbolizes the guilt that Lady Macbeth feels about the death of Duncan, as it was the first time Lady Macbeth has blood on her hands.

" It is an accustomed action with her, to seem thus washing her hands; I have known her to continue in this a quarter of an hour", (5.1.25). In this scene Lady Macbeth is described to be rubbing her hands, as if she was washing her hands. Later in the scene Lady Macbeth says, " Out dammed spot! Out I say", ( Shakespeare.5.1.35). The motion of washing her hands represents the guilt Lady Macbeth feels about the murder of Duncan because she feels that her hands will never be cleaned of the blood she spilled.

" You see
…show more content…
Lady Macbeth excuse's strength by shamming her husband into killing King Duncan, " When you durst do it, then you were a man",(.1.7). Thus challenging his man hood and showing her own power over her husband. Lady Macbeth rebels the role of a nurturing mother telling her husband that she would kill her baby if he had asked her to, " have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums and dashed the brains out had I sworn you so", (1.7.62-67). Lady Macbeth is a victim of her own power, where as she knows her role as a woman but choses to defy the stereotypical ideology of her time. Thus plaguing her with guilt and leading her to her own