How Is Guilt Presented In Macbeth

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Shakespeare’s exploration of guilt is predominantly demonstrated through the portrayal of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The utilisation of a variety of language and stylistic devices enabled the audience to fully comprehend Macbeth/Lady Macbeth’s guilty conscience. A series of incidence’s prompted their guilt including Banquo’s and the King’s murder. The significant literary devices that aided Shakespeare’s portrayal of guilt include Asides, soliloquys and symbolism. The impact of the literary devices will be analysed in accordance with the portrayal of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s guilt. The utilisation of asides provides the audience with an understanding of a specific character’s conscience and thoughts, enabling an in-depth comprehension of the character’s guilt. Initially the nature of Macbeth’s malevolent desires is revealed within the aside in Act 1, Scene 4, ‘my black and deep desires’ (1.4.48). Macbeth is aware of the moral responsibility yet avoids it despite knowing the repercussions, demonstrated within ‘Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see’ (1.4.55). Shakespeare’s utilisation of asides allows the audience to decipher Macbeth’s weakness and ultimately understand …show more content…

Macbeth’s mental state is revealed to the audience prior to Duncan’s murder, describing the guilt he already reserves for the proceedings ‘Is this a dagger which I see before me…I have thee not and yet I see thee still’ (2.1.35). The soliloquy ‘Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear‘(2.2.56-57) establishes that his guilt and remorse prove he’s not purely evil and remains somewhat sane. The hallucinations Lady Macbeth and Macbeth experience are clear indicators of the immense guilt that consumes them. Additionally, the soliloquys have indicated the significant effect that guilt has on their conscience and how it impends on their mental

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