Motifs in Macbeth
Motif is a recurring element that gains significance as a literary work continues. In the book Macbeth, by William Shakespeare there are numerous motifs such as blood, sleeplessness, and darkness.
Blood is a sign of evil and wrongdoing. After Macbeth kills Duncan he says, “He can’t wash the blood off his hands.” Macbeth says this because he has this feeling that he will always have that blood stained knowing how he feels guilty for killing Duncan. Macbeth describes Duncan as having had "golden blood," which contrasts with his own. Duncan had no guilt and had done nothing to make Macbeth mad, or to make him admirable of being murdered. In spite of this fact, Macbeth still murdered King Duncan and contaminated his blood in the process. The quotation, “All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.” The odor of the blood also has the same effect. They imagine the blood never leaves their hands, and the truth never leaves their minds. Then King Duncan yells, “ What bloody man is that?” He is referring to a soldier coming in from battle. Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth “To have the same beliefs as she or he would be driven to insanity.” Which this means that they have to make themselves believe they did not do the crime or the guilt will make them go insane. The blood represents their crime, and they cannot escape the sin of their actions. Lady Macbeth believes her sense of right and wrong would be cleansed at the time her hands are actually cleaned.
The sleeplessness motif is important because it shows how the characters in the play deal with their stresses. In Macbeth, sleeplessness is an important motif that permeates the dramatic structure. This proves that, all the sleep in the world could never clear Macbeth of his crime. Macbeth is already destroyed. Macbeth cannot sleep because she is trying to remove the guilt of getting the guards in trouble for King Duncan’s death, when she knows it was her who killed him. For...