Guilt And Vulnerability In Macbeth

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In Act 2 Scene 1 of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare explores the psychology behind guilt and vulnerability, and how they play a role in Macbeth’s mental instability. Macbeth shows the impact of guilt and vulnerability through his hallucinations, affected sleep, and credulity in the higher power.
In this soliloquy, Macbeth’s growing uncertainty with murdering Duncan is being expressed despite the earlier convincing of his wife, Lady Macbeth. While waiting for the dinner bell that will initiate this bloody expedition, he sees a dagger pointing towards Duncan’s chambers. Though first confused by the dagger, he later concludes that is a figment of his imagination from a guilt-ridden mind.
The intensity of the dagger hallucinations experienced by Macbeth increases as he states that his eyes are “made the fools o’ the other senses,” showing that his eyes perceive visions of which he knows not to be there (2.1.56). He later reasons that it is the “bloody business which informs/Thus to mine eyes,” as the reason he sees this dagger is due to the murderous journey he
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The true internal struggles he faces explains why external forces such as the witches’ prophecy and Lady Macbeth’s assertiveness can easily manipulate him into darker ambitions. Within his soliloquy, Macbeth makes a reference to Hecate, the Greek goddess of witchcraft. Being a powerful figure in Greek mythology, witchcraft looks up to her and “celebrates” her practices, making Macbeth believe the witches are trustworthy (2.1.63). The themes of guilt and vulnerability can be linked together, as the culpability Macbeth feels forces him to look to a higher power for guidance. According to psychology, people suffering from mental instability have tendencies to lean on others of more stability, which is what Macbeth mirrors in this

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