Fear In Macbeth

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William Shakespeare’s Macbeth portrays the life of a young man named Macbeth. He begins as an honorable, loyal subject of King Duncan. However, throughout the events of the play, Macbeth begins to act irrationally, and soon enough becomes a tyrant. Many different factors are attributed with bringing about change in Macbeth. One important actor in Macbeth’s life, as well as that of Lady Macbeth, is fear. Fear rules over the actions and thoughts of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. However, it is how both of them react to the power of their fears that changes their characters. In William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, fear drives characters to search for security and reassurance, but ultimately leads to their downfall. Fear results in Macbeth murdering…show more content…
Since the murder of Duncan, Lady Macbeth has become afraid of the dark. The reason that Lady Macbeth fears the dark is because it reminds her of the night that she and Macbeth killed King Duncan. Therefore, Lady Macbeth inherently associates the dark with the events of the murder. In addition, Lady Macbeth is afraid of the dark because of the dark’s strong connotations with evil spirits. Lady Macbeth’s fear of the dark, which is as a result of its connections to the murder, leads her to become mentally unstable. Lady Macbeth’s mental instability is depicted through her unnatural behavior, such as sleepwalking. One night, while Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking, her gentlewoman and a doctor are observing her. They hear her say, “What need we fear/ who knows it, when none can call our power to/ account? Yet who would have thought the old man/ to have had so much blood in him?” (V.i.39-42). Here, Lady Macbeth is seen dwelling on the accounts of the night that Duncan was murdered. Lady Macbeth’s guilt about the murder that she took part in is seen occupying her mind and dictating her actions. Lady Macbeth’s fear takes over her body in this instance and compels her to speak of the murder, which she otherwise would not mention out of fear of someone else knowing about it. Furthermore, while sleepwalking, Lady Macbeth also constantly rubs her hands as if she is washing the blood off of them. Lady Macbeth’s fear of the murder that she committed in the past can be seen through her attempting to wash away the blood from her hands or her attempting to wash away the memories of that night. By seeking to wash away her memories, Lady Macbeth is trying to free herself from her past actions. Additionally, her unnatural actions are a result of her mental instability. In order to gain a sense of reassurance, Lady Macbeth is seen carrying a candle with her at night to suppress the memories of the night of the
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