Examples Of Guilt In Macbeth

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Guilt in Macbeth In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Shakespeare asks the audience to explore the nature of guilt. Macbeth feels guilt for killing Duncan at the beginning of the play. Shakespeare illustrates the guilt of the characters in the play through the use of compelling imagery, brilliant metaphors, and dynamic personification. Shakespeare uses imagery to depict the importance of symbols and how they represent the guilt Macbeth feels. Additionally, Shakespeare often utilizes Personification to give human characteristics or attributes to something nonhuman to symbolize guilt. Finally, he uses metaphors to compare Macbeth’s guilt to other ideas. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Shakespeare utilizes imagery, metaphors, and personification to depict how …show more content…

Throughout the play, three recurring types of imagery stand out: blood imagery, sleep imagery, and hallucination imagery. After Macbeth kills Duncan, he asks Lady Macbeth, “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand?”(II. 2, 60–62). As Macbeth gazes at his hand, soaked in blood, he is haunted by the weight of his guilt, realizing that water cannot erase the stain of his crime. Neptune's vast ocean mirrors Macbeth's remorse for King Duncan as Macbeth's guilt will continue to consume him, resisting any attempts to wash it away. With every attempt to cleanse himself of the bloodstains, Macbeth's quest for forgiveness only drives him further down a path of darkness and corruption. The murder of King Duncan takes place at night while he is in an innocent sleep. This is symbolized when Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth, “Methought I heard a voice cry/Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep - the innocent sleep” (II, 2, 35-36). The imagery of sleep in Macbeth symbolizes the characters' internal confusion and guilt following the murder of Duncan. Macbeth's restless nights, and visions of the crimes he committed, reflect …show more content…

Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth use personification to illustrate the guilt they feel for murdering Duncan. While Macbeth is undergoing a soliloquy, contemplating killing King Duncan, he says, “Is this a dagger which I see before me, / The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee” (II. 1. 33-34). In this quote, Macbeth is in a state of internal conflict and turmoil. He questions the reality of the dagger he sees infront of his eyes, contemplating whether it is a figment of his imagination or an actual object. The fact that the handle is pointing towards his hand implies a tempting invitation to commit the murder of King Duncan. Macbeth's desire to clutch the dagger reflects his increasing willingness to embrace violence and his downfall into darkness, symbolizing his growing ambition and guilt. In these lines, the personification is evident as Macbeth imagines the dagger having agency and intention. The dagger is personified as it seemingly invites Macbeth to grasp it, symbolizing his internal struggle and the influence of his guilt on his perception of reality. Lady Macbeth profoundly uses personification to describe the physiological toll that the guilty has placed upon her. "These deeds must not be thought / After these ways; so, it will make us mad" (II. 2. 33-34). Lady Macbeth personifies the deeds they have committed, treating them as individuals with their own

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