The “damned spot” which Lady Macbeth refers to is the blood left by the murder of Macbeth, a symbol of guilt. This scene is ironic as in Act 2 Scene 2, Lady Macbeth stated: “A little water clears us of this deed” Despite saying that by simply washing their hands, the murder would be forgotten, she is now repetitively rubbing her hands but unable to remove thoughts of the murder. Additionally, in the 17th century, sleep was a symbol for conscience and sleepwalking was a sign of a disturbed mind and indeed, in Act 5 Scene 5, driven by madness, she commits suicide. In the Elizabethan Era, it was commonly believed that anyone who committed suicide, would not be granted passage to the afterlife. Lady Macbeth’s suicide suggests to the audience her certainty of being denied the afterlife after murdering
Lady Macbeth’s fall into insanity in Act 5, scene 1 reveals the pain that has been inflicted on her mind, this scene also reveals the other characters giving up on their queen. This scene is an essential part of the play that truly exposes Lady Macbeth’s character through her insanity and suicide. This can be acknowledged and connected to the characteristics of the ‘mad-hatter’ character, which was abandoned by society for being mentally ill, even though the character was just a victim of a mind-deteriorating poising. I have chosen an alternative reading as, this far in the play Lady Macbeth has just became filled with guilt, which is marginalised as her being insane. This was not explored in great depth, whereas, this alternative reading offers greater knowledge of Lady Macbeth’s true curse of guilt, and explores her deeper mourning.
1, when Macbeth’s wife, Lady Macbeth, is found sleep walking in the night while speaking out of her unconscious mind. After Lady Macbeth slips away from the main plotline, having just murdered King Duncan, she plummets into deep feelings of guilt. This scene allowed Shakespeare to show how guilt truly affected Lady Macbeth, which sent a strong message to the audience that guilt will ultimately lead to destruction. Freud also states “He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips; betrayal oozes out of him at every pore” (Article Freud).
The blood left on their hands is torturing Lady Macbeth as she is starting to feel remorseful as she is subconsciously reliving the horrific violent crime. In reliving the horrific murder she is starting to develop a mental illness which later leads to her suicide. That mental illness closely resembles PTSD as she is having flashbacks of the murder she pushed Macbeth to commit while she is asleep.
She shows her first bit of insanity when she says, “Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done’t” (2.2.13). Lady MacBeth was so willing to kill Duncan for her husband to become king. Her insanity continues affects her so bad that she says, “...all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand” (5.1.39). She has so much bad and kept it in that nothing can fix her causing her to go mentally insane. After the killing of Duncan is when Lady MacBeth mental insanity starts.
Lady Macbeth’s character undergoes a complete personality transformation by Act V. The anxiety she had always feared is enhanced as she sleepwalks and guiltily relives her actions. “Out, damned spot, out, I say!...Yet who would have the old man to have so much blood in him” (Act V, i, 25-30). Through her death, Shakespeare enhances his philosophy that she utilized her free will to make negative decision which led to a guilt-filled fate. Macbeth’s character had built up an arrogant personality because of Hecate’s and the other witches’ prophecies. “Bring me no more reports.
Hamlet has come to see his mother, Queen Gertrude, and ends up stabbing Lord Polonius, which ultimately leads to his death. Lord Polonius’ final words include “O, I am slain!” Even though this provides a slight amount of comic relief to the reader, it has a reverse effect on Ophelia’s mental state. Her father’s death seems to be the potent punch in this fight because she officially goes mad after this final event. This is apparent in Scene IV Act I, when Laertes has come back to visit his sister and check on her well being. He is disappointed to see that Ophelia is displaying irrational behavior when she begins to sing “They bore him barefac’d on the bier; Hey non nonny, nonny, hey nonny; And on his grave rains many a tear.” She is so mentally ill that she must be locked in a padded room during the day.
These visions make her believe she has blood on her hands that can’t was off, symbolizing what’s done cannot be undone. Furthermore, she started fearing for her life after Macbeth has sent murders to kill Lady Macduff and her children “Thane of Fife had a wife, where is she now?” (Act 5 Scene 1). The reason being is because Macduff betrayed Macbeth who flees to England. She wasn’t able to deal with it no more and her solution was death. In the end, Lady Macbeth succumbed to her guilt and choose
Sleepwalking "Since his majesty went into the field, I have seen her rise from her bed, throw her nightgown upon her, unlock her closet, take forth paper, fold it, write upon ’t, read it, afterwards seal it, and again return to bed; yet all this while in a most fast sleep" (5.1.3-7) Lady Macbeth's sleepwalking symbolizes the distress and psychological pain she is in. Since she demands Macbeth to kill innocent people, she becomes restless from guilt. According to Dream Dictionary, sleepwalkers are under a massive amount of stress and lack sleep. Lady Macbeth realizes she cannot escape the consequences of her actions, therefore she holds a lot of stress. Moreover, her eyes which remain open as she sleepwalks symbolize that she may never rest
Lady Macbeth is avoiding the truth and putting the blame on someone who doesn’t deserve the false accusation. In conclusion, the three most important scenes in the play are, Macbeth talking to Banquo’s ghost, Lady Macbeth attempting to wash away the blood, and Lady Macbeth saying water will fix everything because they show the main theme of guilt the strongest. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have a lot of guilt built up inside of them and don’t know how to control it. In the end, they do not resolve their guilt
What kind of a woman is Lady Macbeth truly? Did she descend because of fear or of a guilty conscience? The audience sees a progressive change in Lady Macbeth 's attitude going from complete cruelty, to a slightly softened heart, to fear and anxiety, to a greater fear of being caught, and finally to a very obvious guilt hanging over her. It seems to be quite blatant that Lady Macbeth doubts her husband’s ability to rule and readers see her cruel side. In Act 1, Scene 5, she receives a letter from Macbeth stating that he had met three witches.