Aggression In Lady Macbeth

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Modern studies show emotional suppression can affect individuals in numerous ways. This is evident in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The character Lady Macbeth demonstrates the symptoms of emotional suppression when the guilt of killing Duncan causes a decline in her psychological health.

Why does Lady Macbeth feel guilty? Winch, Whitbourne, et al explain why people feel guilty in “The Definitive Guide to Guilt.”
From a cognitive point of view, guilt is an emotion that people experience because they’re convinced they’ve caused harm. In cognitive theory, the thoughts cause the emotions. The guilt of emotion follows directly from the thought that you are responsible for someone else’s misfortune.

Guilt results in dramatic transformation
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Lady Macbeth’s guilty conscience is displayed near the end of the story when she is sleepwalking. She discusses her feelings, but mainly she reiterates her guilt. “The thane of Fife had a wife. Where is she now? What, will these hands ne’er be clean? No more o’that, [her] lord, no more o’that. You mar all with [that] starting,"(V. i. 38-40). This demonstrates how Lady Macbeth is feeling remorseful about Lady Macduff’s murder and how Macbeth has ruined everything with his nervousness. Her guilt is coming to the surface as she sleeps and dreams. In this state, she attempts to clean Duncan's invisible blood off of her hands. According to the Mayo Clinic, factors that can contribute to Somnambulism: sleep deprivation, fatigue, stress, depression, and anxiety (Mayo Clinic: Sleepwalking Causes). Shakespeare has made the sleepwalking scene exactly conform to all the characteristics of a pathological somnambulism - that is - the subject sees and hears everything, there is a regularity of development, she repeats the same words and gestures as the original experience and finally, on a return to her regular personality after the attack is over, there is no memory of the attack, in other words, amnesia has taken place. Lady Macbeth's actions during the sleepwalking scene are very complicated, show a clear memory of her past repressed experiences, in fact, they are an exact reproduction of these
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