Guilt And Conscience In Macbeth Analysis

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This masterpiece written by Shakespeare was first performed in 1605, (1605 being the same year as the Gunpowder Plot, having a vast link to Macbeth). Shakespeare's main intention behind writing this play was to exemplify the brutal consequences of attempting to overthrow the monarchy. The theme of guilt and conscience is firmly elaborated within the play, seen greatly through the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth along with the good use of technical devices and evocative imagery. As a result of these characters' actions, they suffer guilt which plays an on heavily upon the character until their conscience is completely demolished. The first portrayal of guilt and conscience in the play is during Act 1 Scene 3. We see quite evidently…show more content…
Despite this action not explicitly conveying the emotion of guilt, being alarmed is an act which we tend to associate with having an inner guilty feeling as well as conscience. This guilty sensation within Banquo causes him to commit further horrendous acts throughout the play but also opens up the idea of internal conflict within him. This internal conflict being the inability for his conscience to tell right from wrong, creating mixed feelings within him, most notably guilt. Another time we see the portrayal of guilt and conscience is during the hallucination of a bloody dagger prior to the death of Duncan. This scene is quite different from the other multiple depictions of guilt as we see the guilt of Macbeth being portrayed as a vision rather than a physical act which he experiences when being confronted by a blood-stained dagger before he even commits the murder, clearly implying Macbeth feeling this sense of guilt even before committing the deed. After Macbeth has committed the act, Shakespeare…show more content…
This scene shows Macbeth's guilt and his conscience coming into action once again as a vision as it was Macbeth who ordered Banquo to death, after him having suspicions of Macbeth killing Duncan. We see now that, funnily enough, Macbeth's guilt from a previous scene has led to another scene emphasising his guilt. We see this throughout the play quite evidently this pool of guilt getting larger and larger until it has reached its highest point. As soon as Macbeth comes into contact with the ghost of Banquo, corruption is brought to his mind and his conscience is flattened and destroyed and overridden with guilt causing the conscience of Macbeth to what was a feeling of ambition to the feelings of guilt and anxiety. During the Elizabethan and Jacobean period, religion had a heavy influence in society with many believing the living and dead were able to communicate. Scriptures from the Bible supported this greatly, with the belief of hallucinations of ghosts to be real and a sign to many as the return of Jesus Christ to the planet. As a result of this build-up of guilt within him, he acts insanely in front of many gathered around him, once again implying he has a weakness of giving in to things easily and is not mentally strong presently at that time. This quote also suggests the transition that has occurred on Macbeth as a result of this guilt. His
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