Essay about Macbeth symbolism

Submitted By prprprpr
Words: 645
Pages: 3


The first symbol, blood, was always closely linked to violence, but over the course of Macbeth blood comes to symbolized something else: guilt. Death and killing happen in an instant, but blood remains, and stains. In Act 2 Scene 2 Macbeth got blood on his hands by murdering King Duncan. At this time when he felt most guilty, he despaired to his wife that "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand?" (Shakespeare Pg. 83). Macbeth was afraid to go back to the crime he had committed. But the crime had not been completed as Macbeth had forgotten to cover the servants in blood and frame them for the murder. The brave and bold Lady Macbeth goes back and covers the servants in blood herself.Lady Macbeth shares the same feeling as Macbeth but doesn't show any emotion. They both felt guilty for the death of King Duncan. Lady Macbeth displayed her guilt when she says "Yet who would have thought the old man to have so much blood in him!" (Pg.213). This line was repeated during her sleepwalking which was cause by her stress and guilt. She also had showed guilt when she tried to wash off the “blood” on her hand and says :”oh damn spot!”. The washing of hands, which Macbeth says even the entire ocean can’t do, symbolizes the cleansing of guilt, later echoed in Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene in Act V, Scene 1: “What, will these hands ne'er be clean?” Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both have blood on their hands and can't get this blood off of their hands and it becomes a permanent stain constantly reminding them of their crime and guilt.

the second symbols are owl, night and snake, that represent night and evil, especially the shrouding of evil deeds at night and the pleas that both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth make to the powers of darkness. The owl, a symbol of night and darkness, also represents Macbeth in the reference to the owl (Macbeth) killing the falcon (Duncan): “A falcon, towering in her pride of place, / Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd" (2.4.11-13). What more, the owl is also mentioned by the Old man:
“...is unnatural, Even like the deed that done. On Tuesday last A falcon, towering in her pride of place,
Was by a mousing owl hawked at and killed.” Owls don’t usually hunt falcons, because falcons are much bigger than owls. This sentence has a deep symbolic meaning: the falcon represents Duncan,

while the owl represents…