• Submitted By: kganuza
  • Date Submitted: 12/28/2015 12:20 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 860
  • Page: 4

The Red Stuff, The Clear Stuff, and The Aftermath.

In William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, there are reoccurring symbols which help develop the major themes. There are some symbols used to foreshadow guilt which plays a big role in the theme of the play. It is evident that there are other symbols which are subtle may not be as evident but often show up and eventually lead to the theme of guilt. The three symbols that are important and repeated are water, hallucinations and blood. Each time one of these symbols are used they are used as precursors to a theme or a significant event.

The first symbol that is represented is water. Water is used throughout most of the play. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth use water to clean them of the murder they have committed because of the guilt they feel. Macbeth feels penitence and guilt after murdering King Duncan, his wife advises him to wash his hands with water to cleanse him of the guilt. However, the guilt he feels is so deep that he believes not even all the water in the ocean can cleanse but his guilty bloody hands will make the oceans red, "No; this my hand will rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red" (Pg.83). Despite Lady Macbeth's suggestion of cleansing their deeds with water, no amount of water seems to be enough. Near the end, it is evident that she does not feel cleansed of her deeds and still feels guilty because as she is sleepwalking she says, "Out, damned spot; out, I say!" (Pg.213) and makes motions of rubbing he hands together as someone would if they were washing their hands. In her mind she feels the guilt and knows no amount of water will cleanse her guilt "What, will these hands ne'er be clean?" (Pg.213) and she is repeatedly trying to cleanse herself of the guilt. Water is correlated with guilt throughout the play, and is a very important symbol because Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both turn to water for cleansing when they feel guilt.

The second symbol is...

Similar Essays