The Guilt of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

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The Guilt of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

Guilt is a very strong and uncomfortable feeling that often results from one’s own actions. This strong emotion is one of the theme ideas in William Shakespeare, “Macbeth”. Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth feel guilt, but they react in different ways. Guilt hardens Macbeth, but cause Lady Macbeth to commit suicide. As Macbeth shrives to success guilt overcome’s Macbeth where he can no longer think straight. Initially Macbeth planned was to kill Duncan but it wasn’t enough he also had to kill Banquo and Macduff’s family. On the other hand Lady Macbeth had to call upon the weird sister to unsexed her so she had no true feeling towards anything as if she was a man. However, the true guilt of the murder can fall on either Lady Macbeth or Macbeth.

Perhaps one of the strongest obvious evidence that show guilt, is how it affects lady Macbeth, how she couldn’t handle it any longer, and that was the reason of her death. Lady Macbeth realizes that nothing could ever get rid of the smell of the blood and the guilt caused by all the murders committed by Macbeth. “Here’s is the smell of blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. O, O, O!’’, (V, I, 53-55) It’s also shown here that she feels responsible for every person her Husband killed. The guilt of Duncan's murder can be placed firmly on the hand on Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth wants the murder of Duncan for her own gains. Given the present situation, she is hungry for power. The weird sisters predicted that Macbeth would be king. This means that the obvious result would be Lady Macbeth will be queen. Instead of waiting for Duncan to die naturally or to be killed by someone else, she forces the task onto Macbeth.

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...d her children be murdered. As Macduff reaches England he hears the news and grief and vow revenge upon Macbeth.

Although the tragic hero Macbeth physically committed the crime, it was Lady Macbeth that pushed him to his limits of rational thought and essentially made fun of him to lower his esteem. With Macbeth's defenses down, it was an easy task for Lady Macbeth to influence Duncan's murder and make up an excuse as to why she could not do it herself. The Quotes and explanations used throughout this essay, built up proof that guilt plays a large role in motivating Macbeth. Guilty feelings were brought out through the character’s actions and responses, until the very fatal end were they wishes none of all this ever happened.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Tragedy of Macbeth . Ed. Barbara Mowat and Paul Warstine. New York: Washington Press, 1992.
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