Blood will have blood

   This page was bloodied up by Sarah Flinn, Haley Hart and Katherine Harrison

Blood, what does it mean???? Life, death, guilt, vengeance? Come and find out........





Act 1 Scene 7
"...but in these cases
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
BLOODY instructions , which being taught return
To plague the inventor:" 


At this point in the play, Macbeth is in his castle contemplating whether or not he should kill King Duncan. Macbeth is not strong willed at this point and cannot decide whether to follow his wife's council in the murdering of King Duncan or to be loyal to his King and cousin. He lists reasons for not killing Duncan and believes that by killing Duncan he would be teaching bloody instruction that would come back to plague him. 
The word 'bloody' in this sense is figurative and means evil or corrupt. The phrase 'bloody instruction' means 'corrupt instruction' which refers to Lady Macbeth's corrupt instruction to Macbeth of how to murder Duncan. This line illustrates how the word 'blood' often has a negative or unhappy connotation.


Act 1 Scene 7
"When we have mark'd with blood those sleepy two of his own chamber, and used their very daggers that they have done't?"


In this scene Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are planning to stage Duncan's murder as if his guards had killed him. They plan to put the guards to sleep and use their daggers to kill Duncan and then return the daggers to the guards' bolsters. When the bloodied daggers are found with the guards, they will be punished for killing the king instead of Macbeth. 
The word blood in this scene is used both literally and figuratively. The guards' daggers will indeed be covered in blood which will make the guards appear responsible of the murder, but also the word blood signifies guilt. When the blood is seen on the daggers, the guards will look guilty of the crime and be punished accordingly. In this scene, the phrase 'mark'd with blood' is a bad thing that will soon lead to death, but in the bible during the first Passover, the doors of the Jews' houses were 'mark'd with blood' and they were saved from the angel of death, which was a good thing. Therefore, being marked with blood is not always a bad thing, but in this case is.


Act 2 Scene 2
"Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No'"


In this scene, Macbeth has already killed Duncan and has mistakenly brought back the bloodied daggers. Lady Macbeth scorns him for being cowardly and goes to return the daggers because Macbeth is too fearful. Now Macbeth is regretful and ashamed and wishes that he could undo his terrible deed. While Lady Macbeth appears bold and brave, Macbeth is openly fearful and sorrowful. He knows that no amount of water will ever take away the guilt and blood from his hands.

In this scene the word blood is figurative and signifies guilt. This scene shows Macbeth's guilty conscience and remorse after shedding innocent blood. Like a deep stain that is impossible to remove, Macbeth knows that he will never be forgiven for his deed and so he must suffer with guilt, i.e., blood on his hand.


Act 2 Scene 3
"Here lay Duncan, his silver skin laced with his golden blood."


At this point in the play, Duncan has been found dead by Donalbain and Malcolm. They assume that the guards have killed Duncan because of the bloodied daggers. Everyone is in shock and alarm as Macbeth speaks this quote. 

In this quote, the word blood is figurative in the sense that the blood on his dead body is being described. Also, phrase 'golden blood' is worded in such a way that shows Duncan's royalty. No other character's blood was described as golden in the play. This could be because he was the king at the time or it could possibly show his innocence. Just like the phrase 'a golden child' means an innocent and perfect child, the phrase 'golden blood' could refer to Duncan's innocence.


Act 2, Scene 3 
“You are, and do not know’t:
The spring, the head, the fountain of your blood
Is stopp’d; the very source of it is stopp’d.”
“Those of his chamber, as it seem’d had done’t:
Their hands and faces were all badged with blood…”

Prior to these two passages, King Duncan has just been found dead. While Macbeth and Lady Macbeth know that they are the ones who have killed the king, Lennox, Macduff, Donalbain, Malcolm, and the other present parties are unaware of this. Just as Macbeth and his wife had planned, the guards are the first to be accused of Duncan’s murder. Macbeth, who is full of remorse and regret for his actions, begins to talk a lot about the king, his death, and how he has killed the guards. Lady Macbeth then fakes a faint in order to stop Macbeth from talking so much (he could potentially confess everything!) and to take the attention off of him. She succeeds in drawing the attention off her husband, at least for now anyways.

The first passage is Macbeth speaking to Donalbain; Macbeth is describing in a figurative way that his father, Duncan, has be killed. Therefore, blood in this scenario is used figuratively. The structure of the passage allows for the word blood to be the best choice for it. Blood here means Duncan (or family). Basically what Macbeth is saying is that “the spring, the head, the fountain” of where Donalbain has come from, his father, has been “stopp’d”, or in lamest terms, killed. 

The second passage is discussing how Duncan’s guards were found with blood on their hands and faces; this means that in this case, blood is used in a literal manner. Blood, for this passage, is the best and irreplaceable word choice. The word blood is used here as evidence or conviction. By there being blood on their daggers, faces, and hands, Lennox automatically assumes that the guards must be Duncan’s murderers. Though I feel this is ill-conceived. I mean think about it; if someone were to have murdered someone, why would there be blood on their face? Maybe it is just me but that would be a red flag indicating that someone was trying to frame them of Duncan’s murder.


Act 2 Scene 3
"There's daggers in men's smiles; the near in blood, the nearer bloody."


In this scene, Malcolm and Donalbain are afraid for their lives after they see that their father has been murdered. They know that it is dangerous for them to stay in this area and around these people any longer. They decide to flee to separate places for their safety.

In this quote, each mention of blood has a different meaning. The first mention of blood is referring to their hierarchy of being king. Malcolm realizes that since he is next in line to inherit the throne, that his life is in greater danger than Donalbain's because Malcolm is 'the near in blood'. The second mention of the world blood refers to death. Malcolm knows that someone may be after his life and so he decides to flee.


Act 3, Scene 4 Page 41
MB: “There’s blood upon thy face.”
Murderer: “‘Tis Banquo’s then.”

In this dialogue, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, Ross, and Lennox are in Macbeth’s palace. Macbeth goes to the door in order to talk to the murderer without the others being able to hear them. No one besides Macbeth knows that he has had a murderer go kill Banquo; this however does not last for long. 

The blood that is on the murderer’s face is Banquo’s actual blood which means that the usage of blood is literal. Since blood in this passage is literally used, then it is the best word choice for this scene. This passage reminds me of the one earlier from when Duncan was found dead; the guards were found with blood on their faces. I am not sure if Shakespeare intentionally connects these characters by making them have blood on their faces, but in my perspectives this links them together. When dealing with murders, blood signifies the act, or “the deed being done.” I believe in some ways, the murderous plans are not done until blood is drawn.


Act 4 Scene 1
“Be bloody, bold and resolute: laugh to scorn
The power of man, for none of woman born
Shall harm Macbeth.” 
--Second Apparition (bloody Child) 

The previous quotation was the fifth of six prophecies that Macbeth got from the weird sisters/apparitions. He went to the weird sisters for a second time after being tormented by Banquo’s ghost and demanded to know more. 

Here, the term bloody is used in a more figuratively than literally. The witches want Macbeth to fight, and fight hard. In this case, bloody could also mean ruthless. “Be bloody” basically means fight in a ruthless way. Be rough. Be evil. Have no remorse. Macbeth did not have too hard of a time being bloody; that’s for sure.


Act 5 Scene 1
“Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?”
--Lady Macbeth

At this part in the play, Lady Macbeth is sleep walking and discussing Duncan’s murder. Although she does not seem remorseful while she is awake, it is obvious that her guilty conscious is appearing in her sleep. 

In this quote blood holds both a literal and a figurative meaning. Literally, King Duncan did bleed a lot. When Lady Macbeth was taking the daggers back she could not get over the immense amount of blood that came from Duncan. Figuratively, blood could mean guilt. Lady Macbeth never thought that there would be so much guilt attached to Duncan’s murder. The unexpected guilt stays with Lady Macbeth through out the rest of the play and eventually defeats her.


Act 5 Scene 8
“But get thee back; my soul is too much charged 
With blood of thine already.”
--Macbeth to Macduff

This quote takes place in the play’s final scene when Macbeth and Macduff are about to fight. Macduff is ready to take revenge upon Macbeth for all of the murders he committed, especially for the ones of Lady Macduff and Macduff’s son. 

The word blood figuratively means life and guilt in this situation. Macduff hired a murderer to take the lives of Lady Macduff and her son. After the murders, Macbeth is left with the guilt of taking two innocent lives. “Blood of thine” means that Macbeth has the lives of Macduff’s family, and the guilt and torment that follows such murders.


And the bloodiest quote of all...

Act 3 Scene 4

"blood will have blood"


This quote from Macbeth captures the power of blood.  These four words, "blood will have blood", could be used to sum up the theme of whole play.  The first blood can literally mean blood, or it could also mean evil or murder.  Over the course of the play there were eleven murders, making Macbeth Shakespeare's bloodiest play.  The second blood figuratively means guilt or revenge.  After each murder, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth fell closer and closer to their ultimate demise.  Macbeth was unable to sleep because the guilt following the murders.  Lady Macbeth thought she was fine, but it turns out that she had tormenting sleep walking spells due to her bloody conscious.  The bloody acts of Lady Macbeth tainted her "white" heart and lead her down the path of suicide. Thus blood had blood.  Macbeth was ultimately defeated by Macduff.  After hiring murders to kill Macduff's innocent wife and children, Macbeth was killed in a bloody fight.  Macduff was able to get revenge for all of the evil acts of murder that Macbeth planned or committed.  After Macbeth was overthrown as king, peace was restored.  Macbeth is a prime example of how all actions come with consequences.  Blood did indeed have blood.