In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the theme of guilt and conscience is one of many explored throughout the play. Macbeth, is a well respected Scottish noble who in the beginning of the play is a man everyone looks up to; however as the play progresses he makes a number of bad decisions. Eventually, as a result of his actions he suffers guilt and this plays heavily upon his character until his personality is completely destroyed. Shakespeare uses a range of techniques in order to develop this theme such as, characters, imagery.
Lady Macbeth, even in her sleep, has no qualms of conscience; her remorse takes none of the tenderer forms akin to repentance, nor the weaker ones allied to fear, from the pursuit of which the tortured soul, ...
The guilt that causes the delusional state in both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth begins with the questioning of Macbeth’s ambition and capacity to obtain what he wants. Lady Macbeth first sells out her position by following the words of the weird sisters that predict that Macbeth will become king. After allowing the prophecy overcome her, Lady Macbeth convinces herself that she will do anything to make sure that the prediction is followed out. She states, " Hie thee hither, that I may pour my spirits in thine ear, and chastise with the valor of my tongue which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem to have thee crowned withal." Macbeth’s ineptness in remaining loyal to his self is evident when Lady Macbeth attacks his ego by negotiating with him that the murder will make him a better man, “When you durst do it, ten you were a man; And to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man.” Thus, Lady Macbeth is as responsible for the death because she was the one that convinced Macbeth to continue the plan to execute King Duncan. Also passion and greed govern their souls and their common sense, they forget that the world does not revolve around them and what they wish to accomplish. The murders, which would to any sane person seem grotesque becomes a normal thing to them as if nothing more than washing ones hands. Macbeth is originally courageous and a godlike figure with great success in the battlefield who descends to scum by the end of the play.
...ith his conscious but later realized that it would not get him the throne, so he ambitiously completed his task of murdering Duncan and was forced to live with his guilty conscious “Will 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.”(II.2.59-62) and like a child Macbeth blames something else for his decisions rather than accepting it, he blamed his ambitions for his wrongdoings “I have no spur, To Prick the sides of my intent, But only vaulting ambition, which o’er leaps itself and fall on th’other” (I.7.25-28). Macbeth is much like a child, seeking only rewards for himself like the throne or a spot in the cool kids club, he sees his ambition as courage and like a child neglects his conscious and later regrets his decision as he is forced to live with the guilt.
Throughout the play you feel bad for Macbeth, he is truly someone you can relate to and show remorse for. Early in the play in order for Macbeth to become king of Cawdor, Macbeth must kill the king at the time Duncan. Macbeth does not want to do the deed but is forced to go through with the plan by his lady. “If the assassination could trammel up the consequence, and catch his surcease” (I.vii.2-4). Macbeth is starting to rethink the deed he is going to commit by killing Duncan; Macbeth is given the idea that there will be no consequences for his actions. Readers start to see perfect examples of hubris in Macbeth; Macbeth starts to believe he is above everyone and can get out of any situation he is put into. With all of the murders Macbeth commits through out the play he begins to display that he is above fait and he is able to outwit karma. Readers start to think something is truly wrong mentally with Macbeth; the man no longer values the lives of others. “They pluck out mine eyes! Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hands?”(II.ii.60). even after the empty feeling and disgusting feeling of murder after killing Duncan, Macbeth seems shaken by the event that just took place. Soon after, Macbeth is ready to commit another murder. This time the murder of someone closer to his heart, Banqou and his son Fleance. ...
Throughout the play Macbeth allows his pride to interfere with his judgment and succumbs to the witches’ prophecy, leading to his tragic downfall. “Macbeth orders a slaughter of innocents in a vain and futile attempt to preserve kingships threatened by prophecies” (Hassel). He murders King Duncan, his good friend, in order to secure his fate as king. Although Macbeth knows the difference between right and wrong, he is a victim of his tragic flaw: his ambition. His tragic flaw repeatedly leads him to deceit and murder.
Macbeth is also known to have one of the best consciences( Kiefer). In the beginning of the play their marriage was nice and strong, but as the play continued it started to have its downfalls. The Macbeths marriage was based on the community and didn’t go any further than that (Bradshaw). What this means is that their relationship wasn’t that strong, they did what they needed to do for their community as husband and wife, but showed no love after that. Lady Macbeth also took over a lot of important jobs that Macbeth had (Bradshaw). This began to show who had the dominance in the relationship, who was becoming more powerful. This all leads up to Lady Macbeth having a negative conscience, due to the fact of Lady Macbeth’s psyche from that her husband, whose conscience evokes in him a fear of his enemies ( Kiefer). Macbeth’s conscience starting to fear him has made Lady Macbeth believe that she could step up, which would be one of the reasons for Duncan’s
Have you ever done something that you will regret for the rest of your life? Killing someone is considered to be the worst crime of humanity but planning to kill someone is just evil. Macbeth in Shakespeare’s play, who was loyal, courageous and honorable knight, protected his king from a traitor. His wife, Lady Macbeth is a stronger character, more dominant in the relationship with Macbeth. She is also a hideous woman, who influences her husband by making him commit murder by insulting and criticizing him. After a successful plan to kill King Duncan, Macbeth quickly continued to kill more people that could get in his way, even his best friend and family. When a person is committing a crime, they feel guilty for something they did. They will lose control of their mind, possibly committing more crimes and live a life of fear and hide their sins. Shakespeare reveals his messages in three different concrete symbols through ought the play; they are the candle, the crown and the dagger. These symbols appear in different times and shapes, but they are related to each other and represent one message from Shakespeare, guilt.
Macbeth feels a great deal of remorse after he has killed the king. He understands that he has committed a sin and will be punished. He is so terrified that he hears voices telling him:“ Macbeth does murder sleep, … , Macbeth shall sleep no more”(Act 2, Sc.2 p. 57). Macbeth is very upset with himself and wishes that he never killed Duncan. “To know my deed it were best not know myself.” When he hears strange knocking at the gate he wishes that it wakes up Duncan, “wake Duncan with thy knocking”, however it is too late (Act 2, Sc.3 p. 61).
As the play goes on Macbeth turns for the worse. He becomes more ruthless, evil, and murderous. After killing Duncan, Macbeth feels remorse and guilt. "To know my deed, ‘twere best not know myself. Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou could’st." Not being able to return to Duncans room and place the knives is a show of weakness and remorse.