He hoped there would be another way, until he realized it had to be done in order for him to be successful, which was the start to a future filled with astonishing amounts of guilt for him. Secondly, another example of Macbeth showing guilt is when he imagines Banquo's ghost: “Thou canst not say I did it. Never shake Thy gory locks at me” (III.iv.45). Macbeth imagines the ghost of Banquo, and tries to tell it that the murder is not his fault, which shows he is full of guilt over the fact that he murdered Banquo. This is when it becomes more evident that the guilt is tearing Macbeth apart, and he is starting to lose his sanity as he imagines ghosts and attempts to talk to them.
Shakespeare uses the title character of Macbeth to effectively develop the theme of guilt and conscience in his play. Several times in the play we see Macbeth’s character crumbling as a result of a guilty conscience. At the beginning of the play he meets the witches with Banquo, and this prompts the first step toward killing the King. This helps in developing the theme because we get the idea that Macbeth does not trust the witches, nor does he fully believe them. Unfortunately his ambitious nature gets the better of him and causes him to listen carefully to how he might acquire his kingship.
This, as with many things in the play, see-saws back and forth: his fair winnings and heightened position turn foul again by the end of the play. Possibly the most notable switch occurs between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. When Lady Macbeth learns of the witches' prophecy, she is absolute in her decision to kill the King. Macbeth, while he clearly likes the idea, and even shares her desire, falters on holding his promise to her until she threatens his manhood directly. After he kills the King and Banquo (separately) he is distraught with shame and guilt, while Lady Macbeth holds herself together and covers for his strange behavior.
During Macbeth’s vision of the dagger suspended in midair he proclaims “And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood, / Which was not so before” (2.i.46-47). All of a sudden the clean dagger floating in front of ... ... middle of paper ... ...of Banquo and his son due to the witches’ prediction, Macbeth states, “with thy bloody and invisible hand / Cancel and tear to pieces that great bond / Which keeps me pale!” (3.ii.48-50). Macbeth is scared and therefore pale, and thinks that if he kills Banquo, he will be okay. Throughout the course of the play, Macbeth and his wife both take a turn for a worse, but in their own way. Macbeth starts off doubtful and not sure about what he is doing, and becomes more and more bloodthirsty and reckless as the story progresses.
Macbeth feels somewhat guilty for his actions as his hands are covered in the kings blood. Quote: Macbeth, “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand?” Pg.40 (Use whole quote) Explanation: Macbeth’s hands being covered in blood are reminders of his guilt and murder of the king. When Lady Macbeth mentions for him to “Go, get some water / And wash this filthy witness from your hand.” (Shakespeare, 39) Macbeth refers to Neptune (the Roman God of the sea). This shows that Macbeth believes not even the great Neptune would be able to wash the blood from his... ... middle of paper ... ...lfilled. Later Macduff finds out that his family was murdered and has a fight to the death with Macbeth.
He does this because he is too malcontent with how he is currently living and is allured by the thought of what Duncan has: power. After the witches tell Macbeth his prophecy, and Lady Macbeth plots Duncan’s murder, Macbeth contemplates the reason he is killing Duncan. He realizes this would most likely be an egregious mistake, as he says, “...Not bear the knife myself. Besides, Duncan / Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been / So clear in his great office, that his virtues / Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against / The deep damnation of his taking-off” (1,7,16-20). This being said, not only does he understand the consequences of killing Du... ... middle of paper ... ...ing himself.
“This the air drawn dagger which, you said, Led you to Duncan,” Lady Macbeth is trying to calm Macbeth down and reassure him that Banquo is not there; his hallucination is not real (3.4.1349-1350). This hallucination is caused by fear, guilt, and ambition. “If I stand here, I saw him,” Macbeth being so adamant about seeing Banquo, tells us that Macbeth feels threatened by Banquo’s existence(3.4.1364). Selma Mehovic claims that Macbeth “is able of killing his good friend without blinking an eye, and this not only ambition this is clear sign of [a] corrupted and evil soul,” the Macbeth from the beginning of the play would feel reprehensible at the thought of his current actions
At this point in time, Macbeth’s guilty conscience is starting to show itself and cause Macbeth confusion and despair. Later on, Macbeth starts to hear a knocking sound which scares him. In his terror, Macbeth says, “ To know my deed, ‘twere best not know myself.” (II.ii.73). Macbeth is saying that if he understands what he has done, he wants to remain in a daze. Macbeth begins to want to wake Duncan at this point, revealing his true remorse for his crime.
As Macbeth prepares to kill Duncan, he hallucinates, and many thoughts cross his mind, but when the bell sounds, "Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell That summons thee to heaven or to hell." (Act 2 Scene 2) and Macbeth acts promptly. After the murder Macbeth regrets his actions, but again Lady Macbeth is influential toward him, reminding his that "These deeds must not be thought After these ways; so, it will make us mad." (Act 2 Scene 2). Macbeth's true self again break through when he has false thoughts about his actions.
He said They pluck out mine own eyes!/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 (act II, scene iii, l 58-62). This shows that he really didn't want to kill Duncan, but he did it in order to prove himself to Lady Macbeth, and to become the king. By the end he had no fear, and had killed not only Duncan but also many other people. He now had different views from which he had in the beginning of the play.