Guilt Theme In Macbeth Essay

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Macbeth: Literary Essay - Guilt/Consequence
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble. This is one of the most famous lines in William Shakespeare's “Macbeth”. In the book there are many symbolic themes that evolve throughout the work. One of the most intriguing themes is the guilt and consequence of the murders that take place. In “Macbeth” Shakespeare uses the symbolism of bloody hands, hallucinations, and not being able to sleep to develop the theme of guilt.
Many times in “Macbeth” the characters complain about not being able to wash the blood out of their hands. One example is in act 2, scene 2, lines 64-65. Macbeth says “With all great Neptune’s oceans wash this blood / Clean from my hand? He had just killed king Duncan and he says that he will never be able to wash all of the blood out of his hands. He feels so guilty that he thinks that what he did will never get better. He is seeing the consequence of listening to the witches. This is an example of guilt because at that point he would do anything to take it back.
Another example of guilt is the hallucinations that Macbeth has after he kills someone. One of the worst hallucinations he has is after he has his best friend, Banquo, killed he sees his bloody ghost at the table. This happens in act 4, scene 3, lines 101-102 when Macbeth says
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After killing Duncan In act 2, scene 2, lines 39-41 Macbeth says “Methought I heard a voice say “Sleep no more! / Macbeth does murder sleep,””. Macbeth says that he killed Duncan during his sleep so now he won’t be able to sleep. He starts talking in third person and says that he can’t even think of what he did. Later Lady Macbeth starts sleepwalking from the guilt of helping Macbeth kill all of the people. This is a good example of guilt because he feels so bad that he isn't even making sense. He is doing strange things like talking in third person and just saying random

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