Motifs in Macbeth hey ! i have a english assignment to write abt 200 words, paragraph on 2 of the motifs in the play. i found the motif blood and light/dark ....our specification for the assignemnt...

Motifs in Macbeth

hey !

i have a english assignment to write abt 200 words, paragraph on 2 of the motifs in the play. i found the motif

blood and light/dark ....our specification for the assignemnt is to

(1)giive 2 example for each and explain them .

(2) explain how shakespeares uses this motif generally

Can someone please help me with this... i would really appreciate your help

thanks in advance :)

Expert Answers
archteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This assignment is actually a lot easier than in sounds!  You've already identified your two motifs, so the rest should be smooth sailing.  All you have to do is find two places where blood is mentioned/discussed and two places where light/dark are mentioned/discussed.  Then, you have to explain (your teacher will probably prefer a brief explanation) what your chosen passages mean in everyday English.  Finally, you have to explain the reason for each motif's inclusion in the play.  For example, if blood signifies responsibility/guilt (I bet your teacher talked about that in class), Shakespeare has a general message on responsibility/guilt.  Based on your two passages involving blood, what is that message? I would definitely separate the two motifs and focus on one per paragraph.  So my structure for paragraph one would be the following:

Topic Sentence:  The significance of blood in Macbeth is...

Body Sentences:  One example of the motif of blood in the text

Your explanation of that example

Your thoughts about how the example meshes with the significance you mentioned in your topic sentence.

The second example of the motif in the text

Your explanation of the second example

Your thoughts about how the  example connects to your first example and meshes with the significance from your topic sentence.


mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You may wish to stress the metaphoric meaning of blood as well as the connotive meaning.  When Macbeth commences his murderous journey, blood is used to connote the brutality of his acts.  Later on, when Lady Macbeth cannot wash out the "damn spot" the metaphoric meaning here is that she cannot rid herself of guilt.  And, her wish to make her blood "thick" is also metaphoric:  she wishes to be cold-blooded, heartless, unfeeling.  [cold blood=thicker than normal]

Please check your use of pronouns as some are not in agreement with their antecedents.  Remember, too, to write in the Literary Present--not past tense.  Also, revision is needed as the order of ideas needs some adjusting.  Do not forget to make transitions between thoughts, as well.

Good luck.  See the enotes how-to topics, as well, by typing in "how to write---in the search window.  The Essay Lab is also helpful.

johnsim21 | Student

hey !

thank u so much for ur advice !.. i have wrote a paragraph on motif blood . can u plzz proof read it n tell me what needs to be change . thanks again

here is my introduction paragrph

In William Shakespeare's Macbeth there are many motifs, just some are more obvious than other. I have choose two motifs in depth although there are many more. One of the most used motif is “Blood” and the other one is “Light/Dark “.

johnsim21 | Student

here is my first paragraph on blood


The motif blood is often used in the play. It plays an important role in the play. Blood is everywhere in Macbeth, beginning with the opening battle between the Scots and the Norwegian invaders. As Macbeth start upon their murderous journey, blood is used to symbolize their guilt. The word “Blood” is used in many other ways to express different types of feelings like kindness when used as when sometimes it is said “spilled the innocent blood of the victims”. For example, when Lady Macbeth plans to kill King Duncan, she says “make thick my blood; / Stop up the access and passage to remorse” (Act 1 Scene 5 43-44). She thought thin blood was considered wholesome, and it was said poison made blood thick. She wants to take poison in her body to make her blood thick, so that she can kill without sorrow. Other example is in Act 2 Scene 3 59-62, Macbeth has just murdered King Duncan; Macbeth, with blood covering his arms and hands, exclaims "With 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.", Macbeth feels extremely guilty for his deed. He thinks that he can never be able to overcome his action. Not even the water of the world could wash his bloody hand; instead it will make the water red.