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Guilt in Macbeth Essay


The Importance of Guilt in Macbeth

Through the story guilt motivates Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to a great extent. Macbeth was a kind, fine nobleman of the king Duncan. But one day his benevolence and his patronage to the king changed. He had met the three witches who had revealed the three prophecies. The first prophecy was that Macbeth would become the thane of Cawdor. The second prophecy is that he will become the king in the future. The third was that Banquos sons will also become kings in the future (Banquo is a good friend of Macbeth). Macbeth took his future into his own hands. Lady Macbeth was the own who encouraged and persuaded Macbeth into the horrible circumstances. Guilt plays a role to the couple differently at certain occasions.

Guilt encircles Macbeth the night he killed King Duncan. He came back to his wife with a horrified expression on his face. "This is a sorry sight"(Act2 scene2 line 20), he told her. . "A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight", Lady Macbeth was thunderstruck to his remark. She had no sense of guilt right then. He couldnt believe what he had done, what he got himself into. The sons of the king, Malcolm and Donalbain, were in the next room. "Theres one did laugh in s sleep, and one cried, "Murder!" That they did wake each other". I stood and heard them. But they did say their prayers, and addressed them Again to sleep. But wherefore could not I pronounce "Amen"? I had most need of blessing, and "Amen" Stuck in my throat." Macbeth had heard them say their prayers He was in fear. He was stunned and in shock that he had killed someone like King Duncan.

Guilt surrounds Macbeth for the second time when he sends out the murderers to kill Banquo, his old friend. Macbeth had no other choice but to get rid of Banquo. Banquo had witnessed the three witches and the prophecies. One prophecy was that his son would become king one day "To make them kings, the seeds of Banquo kings"(Act3 scene1 line70). In order for Macbeth to be safe is to kill Banquo. Banquo may assume what had happened and tell the people of Scotland. "For Banquos issue have I filed my mind; for them the gracious Duncan have I murdered; Put rancors in the vessel of my peace only for them, and mine eternal jewel". Macbeth feels like his soul is poisoned from all this dreadful, horrible appalling crimes he has been through. He wishes none of all this ever happened. He regrets it very much.

Lady Macbeth also goes through the guilt frame of mind. Later on Lady Macbeth went mad. She begins to see things in blood. "Yet heres a spot. Out, damned spot out, I say. The Thane of Fife had a wife. Where is she now? What, will these hands neer be clean? No more o that, my lord, no more o that! You marall with this starting. Heres the smell of the blood still. All perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, oh, oh!" (Act5 scene1 line40-45and 53-55) Lady Macbeth feels and knows that they have gone too far. They have done so much that they can not be forgiven.

Guilt motivates the couple at different times, and ways. Macbeth Felt guilt since the beginning, but that did not stop him from killing the others. Macbeth had no choice, but to protect himself and his wife. Lady Macbeth felt guilty later after all what they have committed. But she reacts differently. She couldnt handle it any longer, and that was the reason of her death. She had killed herself. She couldnt handle the guilt any longer.

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