Michael Musiani Period 4
CAIN AND ABEL
Background
Cain is the first born son of Adam and
Eve in the Bible, and Abel is the second.
Cain is a crop farmer and Abel is a
shepherd. Both bring offerings to God,
but Cain’s are rejected. This makes Cain
furious, leading him to trick Abel to
come with him into a field, where Abel is
murdered at the hands of his own
brother.
Associations
Abel is seen as the first
innocent man to die at
the hands of evil,
making him the first
martyr and a symbol of
martyrdom.
Anytime a family
member kills another in
a work, especially in
Shakespearean times, it
is seen as an allusion to
this story.
Symbols
The blood of Abel has
become a symbol of
vengeance overtime,
whereas the blood of
Christy has represents
mercy.
Cain is portrayed as an
endless wanderer of the
Earth after the murder
as he is a lost soul.
Cain is sometimes
believed to have been
conceived from the
Serpent in the Garden
of Eden, so he is a
symbol of pure evil.
Quote from Macbeth
“Here’s the smell of blood still: all the perfumes
of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand.”
Here, Lady Macbeth comments on her blood stained hands which is an
allusion to Cain’s hands after the murder of his brother. Lady
Macbeth also becomes obsessed with the fact that she sees blood
on her hands, even though it has been cleaned off. She spends the
rest of her days washing and scrubbing her hands until they are dry
and rough and she is now like Cain in the fact that he becomes an
endless wanderer who is never at peace.
The Overall Allusion
Cain and Abel
Macbeth
 Cain and Abel were
 Macbeth and Duncan were
brothers.
 Abel is viewed as a martyr
after being murdered. Cain
is not viewed in a better
light by God now that Abel
is gone.
 Cain loses himself and can
no longer function
normally afterwards.
close and bound in nobility.
 King Duncan is martyred as
a result of being murdered,
and Macbeth is never
hailed in the way he
imagined.
 Macbeth becomes
conflicted, Lady Macbeth
commits suicide.
Citations
 http://www.pitt.edu/~d
ash/cain.html
 http://www.gradesaver
.com/macbeth/studyguide/section5/
 http://en.wikipedia.org
/wiki/Cain_and_Abel