Macbeth Symbolism
With its eye-opening plot and interesting cast of characters, William

Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth is one of the greatest works one could ever read.

But, above all, the aspect of the play is most impressive and overwhelming with
imagery and symbolism that Shakespeare so brilliantly uses. Throughout the play
, the author depicts various types of imagery and symbolism instances that ,
eventually , lead to the downfall of the main character , Macbeth. Instances of
imagery and symbolism are seen throughout the play. Imagery and symbolism are
unavoidable features in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. One of the most
prominent symbolic factors in the play is the presence of blood. It has been
noted that the presence of blood "increases the feelings or fear , horror ,
and pain" (Spurgeon , Pg. 20). From the appearance of the bloody sergeant in
the second scene of the to the very last scene , there is a continued vision of
blood all throughout the play. The imagery of blood seems to affect almost all
the characters in the play. It affects Lady Macbeth in the scene in which she is
found sleepwalking talking to herself after the murders of Duncan and Banquo :

"Here’s the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not
sweeten this little hand." [V. i. 50-1] Also , the blood imagery is present in
the "weird sisters" , or witches. Most evidently , it is present in act four
, scene one , when Macbeth visits the witches to seek their insight and his
fortune for the future. He is shown three apparitions , one of which is a bloody
child that commands him to "Be bloody , bold and resolute : laugh to
scorn..." [IV. i. 79] Although blood imagery deals with almost all the
characters of the play , no where is it more profound than with the protagonist
himself , Macbeth. In the very beginning of the play , it is reported by the
sergeant that Macbeth and Banquo are "[bathing] in reeking wounds." [I. ii.

42] Again , blood is found haunting Macbeth in act two , scene one of the play ,
in which a visionary dagger is stained with "gouts of blood." In the same
act and scene , after the murder Duncan , Macbeth cries declares that nothing ,
even "great Neptune’s oceans" , will be able to cleanse the blood that
stains his hand : "Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from
my hand? No , this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine ,
making the green one red." [II. ii. 58-60] Next , the image of blood is
induced when Macbeth calls upon the "bloody and invisible hand" of night to
help the murderers he has hired carry out their assassination of Banquo and his
son , Fleance. Then , Macbeth realizes that "blood will have blood" and that
his murderous plots will all come to and end with his death. Finally , at the
end of the banquet scene , Macbeth confesses that he is "in blood , stepp’d
in so far that , should [he] wade no more , returning [would be] as tedious as
to go o’er." [III. iv. 136-7] Through all these instances of blood symbolism
and imagery , it is obvious that "Macbeth is about blood." (Muir , Pg. 271 )

Yet another form of symbolism used in the play is that of unnaturalness.

Throughout the work , it is used in the constant referral to Macbeth’s crime
of murder and emphasizes the fact it is not natural and , in turn , is a"convulsion of nature." (Spurgeon , Pg. 20) Although powerful , the idea of
unnaturalness occurs mostly in one part of the play , immediately before and
after the murder of Duncan. Macbeth , obviously bothered by the act that he had
just committed , states how Duncan’s wounds "look’d like a breach in
nature for ruin’s wasteful entrance." [II. iii. 118] Then , Macbeth
continues on by saying that he had "murdered sleep" , another unnatural
occurrence, "I heard a voice cry , ‘Sleep no more! Macbeth does murther
sleep...Glamis hath murder’d sleep , and therefore Cawdor shall sleep no more.

Macbeth shall sleep no more.’" [II. ii. 26-36] Next , the unnatural events
of the night continue when Macduff and Lenox , Duncan’s sons , tell Macbeth of
the "strange events" of the night, "The night has been unruly. Where we
lay , our chimneys were blown down , and , as they say ,