Whats are the two main motifs in "Macbeth" that deal with objects or obsessions?Can't think of any objects or obsessions in the play other than Macbeth ego wanting to be King.

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are four different words I focus on when teaching this unit: blood, night, sleep and hand.  These words are used more than any other word in the entire play (other than names being stated).  Blood is the one used most often.  Blood is linked to many different aspects of the play.  It is the sign of respect that Macbeth earns for battling so skillfully in the war.  It is also the sin of killing the king in the second Act. Then it becomes an obsession for Macbeth.  He wants more and more blood as to protect his crown once he obtains it.  Then near the end, Lady Macbeth can't get the blood off her (sleepwalking) hands.  She has guilt enough to finally take her own life.  Blood is the one word that comes full circle in this play.

The night is used similarly.  The murders occur at night.  The witches are sought after at night, and so on.  Sleep is mentioned a lot because they cannot ever sleep.  In fact, at one point in Act II Macbeth speaks of his jealousy of the king.  Duncan will be able to sleep forever, yet Macbeth will not because of his guilt--or later he cannot because of his paranoia.  The use of the word "hand" has to do with the action of killing.  Lady Macbeth constantly "wrings her hands" in guilt as she cannot remove the "spot" of blood.  These motifs should help you out.