The world revolves around blood. Whether people care to think about it or not, there is no way anyone would be here if it were not for blood. The importance of this element is very often overlooked. Shakespeare wanted to express the importance of blood in his shortest play. Shakespeare uses the element blood to represent several different things throughout the play Macbeth such as murder, guilt, and wickedness.
Shakespeare uses blood to represent murder several times throughout the play. Since these murders are an extremely important feature of the story he uses blood to emphasize them. In Act I, Shakespeare uses the quote “ . . . when we have marked with blood those sleepy two/of his own chamber, and used their very daggers/That they have done’t? (I vii 75-77)” to show how Macbeth and his wife were planning to frame Duncan’s guards for his murder. This is the beginning of all the murders later to come. When Lady Macbeth says, “My hands are of your color, but shame/To wear a heart so white, (II ii 63-64)” it also refers to the murder of Duncan. She was just as guilty to murdering Duncan as Macbeth was, even though he was the only one who felt any guilt.
Blood also symbolizes guilt in this play. Macbeth feels so much guilt about killing his king that he says washing the blood off his hand will not rid him of the deed but will turn the sea red. Later on though, he just wants more people dead. Although Lady Macbeth was not remorseful about Duncan’s murder when it first took place, she feels bad about it later on. She feels so bad about the murder that in Act V she dreams about the smell of blood saying, “Here’s the smell of blood still. All the/perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. (V i 51-52)” She also dreams that she sees spots of the blood on her hands that will not be removed no matter how hard she scrubs.
Another way Shakespeare uses blood is to represent wickedness.