Monday, June 2, 2008


"Out, damned spot; out, I say. One, two,—why, then ’tis time to do’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier and afeard? What need we fear who knows it when none can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?" (Act IV, scene 1)

This scene is spoken by Lady Macbeth after the murder of Duncan. Earlier in the play Macbeth, her husband, believed that his hands were permanently blood stained. She rebutted this by saying that water will clean it off. Now, in the scene, she too sees blood on her hands and goes into madness from the guilt. It was also earlier where her inability to sleep was foreshadowed by the voice her husband heard while killing Duncan. Lady Macbeth's delusion of blood on her hands further the use of blood within the novel as a symbol of guilt. Her words are completely hollow at this point. Blood represents a permanent stain that symbolizes the guilt with both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth's conscious that will be with them till death.
This is your typical, perfectly labeled, tragic story. Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth die. They both greatly suffer before their death from the guilt. They both are different people when in front of someone versus just talking among themselves. And they are both not truly happy. All of these components are what make up the label for the novel to be tragic. It is very hard for the reader to miss all the tragedy being that Shakespeare writes it on the pages. Unlike his comedy, which is underlying, tragedy forces the reader to stop and think about what is being said.
Even though I find Shakespeare's comedies more enjoyable, the novel of Macbeth was not a bad one. I had read it in fifth grade, along with seeing parts of the movie. It was nice to see what I failed to understand as a fifth grader to come to life as a senior in high school. An example of this for me was the "out spot" scene. That one always baffled me when I was younger. I just couldn't grasp the concept of why this woman was yelling at her hands for a spot to come out that wasn't even there. I never really put thought into any of this again until this year when we read the play. And now with a complete understanding in the play and its symbolism's, I can enjoy it more than I did back in the day.

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