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Out Damned Spot! Essay, Research Paper

Out Damned Spot!

Shakespeare screams imagery! Shakespeare uses imagery of blood and sleep to create an atmosphere of horror, during the killing of Duncan, which contributes

to our sense of Macbeth s growing insanity. Eventually Lady Macbeth s final

scene is enhanced with the use of blood imagery which reflects her guilt.

Shakespeare s use of imagery connects the feeling of horror from audience to


Macbeth held such potential for himself. He was honoured Thane of Cawdor, and who knows what else Duncan had in store for him. Unfortunately he chose not to

find out, by murdering the king. The scene of Duncan s murder (II, ii)

demonstrates the guilt and feeling that the blood diffuses into the air. When

he returns to his chamber Lady Macbeth notices that he has brought back the

blood covered daggers with him. She persuades him to bring them back to the

scene of death, but he refuses by saying ” I ll go no more. I am afraid to

think what I have done; Look on t again I dare not. ” Lady Macbeth responds

ruthlessly to her husband, ” Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers. The

sleeping and the dead are but as pictures. Tis the eye of child hood that fears

a painted devil. If he do bleed, I ll gild the faces of the grooms withal, for

it must seem their guilt.” Lady Macbeth tells her husband that he was acting like

a child and went by herself to smear blood upon the kings grooms so it will seem

like they did it. Lady Macbeth returns from Duncan s chamber telling Macbeth

that her hands are covered in blood just like his. She encourages Macbeth to

wash the blood from his hands to remove the evidence from their presence. ” My

hands are of your color I hear a knocking A little water clears us of this

deed ” The play begins with very little mention of blood. However as the play

progresses blood develops a very significant meaning. The blood that is shed

thickens the plot; a sense of horror is portrayed.

Duncan s murder has an affect on Macbeth; he is scared and can t face what he has done. He keeps insisting that he heard voices saying that he will never

sleep again because of this terrible deed he has committed, ” Methought I heard

a voice cry sleep no more! Macbeth doth murder sleep the innocent sleep ”

Macbeth s reaction to Duncan s death at least shows some sort of guilt or

sympathy for him; however, by the time Macbeth has his best friend, Banquo

murdered his sanity ceases to exist. The interest that Macbeth has in hearing

the details of Banquo s murder, his best friends murder, holds complete

insanity. The Murderer enters with blood upon his face Macbeth approaches him

to find out if he did his job. He finds out that Banquo s throat has been cut,

and that he lies in a ditch covered in gashes. ” My lord, his throat is cut

that I did for him. “, ” Ay, my good lord: safe in a ditch he bides, with twenty

trenched gashes on his head ” Macbeth s philosophy, ” Things bad begun make

strong themselves by ill.” Means do something once, it bother s you, do it

again, it bothers you less, keep doing it and it stops bothering you completely.

Macbeth s interest on how the blood was shed shows intense signs of craziness.

The blood imagery in this scene starts to pass a feeling of uneasiness to the


We have to remember that Lady Macbeth is the one who pushed Macbeth into this mess in the first place. She encourages Macbeth to pursue the prophecies of the

three witches. Being aware of this and the new being her husband has become she

holds a lot of guilt within. The blood has finally gotten to her head. The

doctor and a gentlewoman, who work in the castle, have caught Lady Macbeth in

many unusual states. She has been known to sleep walk, continuously rubbing her

hands together as if she is washing them, and demanding to always have a light

beside her. As she sleep walks she speaks her dreams and thoughts aloud. She

speaks of blood, she thinks that blood is still upon her hands, she can smell

it. She speaks of all Macbeth s sins, Duncan, the Thane of Fife s wife, and

Banquo s death. ” Yet here s a spot Yet who would have thought the old man to

have had so much blood in him The Thane of Fife had a wife. Where is she now?

What will these hands ne er be clean Here s the smell of the blood still

Wash your hands; put on your nightgown; look not so pale! I tell you yet again,

Banquo s buried. He cannot come out on s grave There s a knocking at the

gate. Come, come, come, come, give me your hand! What s done cannot be undone.

To bed, to bed, to bed!” Lady Macbeth is haunted by her guilt. The blood that

was shed disturbs her conscience so much that she can t hide from it.

Shakespeare uses imagery of blood and sleep to create an atmosphere of horror. The killing of Duncan begins Macbeth s path to insanity. He fears sleep for he thinks that he shall never sleep again. Lady Macbeth s guilt reflects her husband s insane state. Shakespeare s use of blood imagery holds a feeling of guilt and insanity. Imagery gives light to the reader so the reader can visualize rather than just understand. The imagery in Macbeth helped to make it as famous as it is today. Blood portrays a feeling of uneasiness as we feel in this book. In life the need of security is so great people get scared when that feeling of confidence disappears. As we see in our society today so many people are unable to proceed with the good in their life while they only continue with the bad as did Macbeth.

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