Guilt and Conscience in Shakespeare’s Macbeth Essay
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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.
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…show more content…
Macbeth’s conscience is further tormented after he kills Duncan. He begins to get paranoid and hallucinates, hearing voices saying, “Sleep, Sleep no more! For Macbeth has murdered sleep”.
As well as seeing the ghost of his murdered friend Banquo at the diner table, he also develops insomnia, and goes so far on as to suggest that he is jealous of Duncan because he can sleep forever whereas he cannot sleep at all. He also loses his appetite and can no longer eat well; this shows that his insides are turning with the memory that he himself had killed a King who had been so good to him and to Scotland. After getting Banquo killed, Macbeth sees his ghost at the banquet with twelve bloody gashes in his head; this makes Macbeth completely insane in an instant. He is not only scared by seeing the ghost of Banquo, but also by the thought that he had done these horrible things, and that his soul would be haunted by his murdered friends ghost for ever. It is through the main characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth that this theme of guilt and conscience is so vividly portrayed.
Likewise at the beginning of the play Lady Macbeth is a very strong character, but this strength crumbles as the play progresses due to her guilty conscience. At the beginning Lady Macbeth tries to muster the strength to force her kind natured husband into killing Duncan. She says things like, “unsex me here” in an attempt to muster
William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay example
483 Words2 Pages
William Shakespeare's Macbeth
Shakespeare's use of a soliloquy is an important factor of the play. It is usually used when a character wants to express his or her thoughts and feelings when alone. Macbeth's soliloquy takes place just before he leaves to kill Duncan. He is very nervous and anxious about his decision and is reassuring himself that he is doing the right thing.
Throughout Macbeth's speech, he uses a variety of tones which creates an atmosphere within the soliloquy. Macbeth may be talking very softly and quietly incase anyone is listening to him which creates a sense of secrecy and guilt. He seems to have the tendency to talk quite quickly, because he wants it all over and done…show more content…
Macbeth can't stand the anticipation any more and leaves to kill Duncan before his words change his mind. The structure of the soliloquy shows how confused Macbeth really is. It is a very long piece, which gives the impression that Macbeth is almost rambling as if he was loosing his mind. At the beginning of the soliloquy, Macbeth speaks in shorter sentences giving the impression that he is very tense and that he has the sense of urgency. He has decided to commit treason and now wants to get it over and done with. The use of shorter sentences also creates a picture of confusion and uncertainty. "I have thee not, and yet I see thee still." This antithesis further highlights Macbeth's confusion and self doubts. We see Macbeth asking questions which emphasizes that he has doubts and worries about what he is going to do. "Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?" Here he is unsure of what he can see, it's like he can't believe his eyes. Towards the end of the soliloquy the sentences become longer, and Macbeth seems to sound calmer and more prepared.
Shakespeare's choice of vocabulary fits the theme of 'Murder'. This is very affective and creates a very clear image. 'Blood' is a key word in the play not only just in Macbeth's soliloquy. It reminds the audience of the murder which is about to