Guilt has the potential to crumble even the most powerful of mortals. The Shakespearean tragedy Macbeth reveals the consequence of immoral action: guilt. William Shakespeare portrays the idea that the downfall of one may transpire as a result of this regret. Throughout the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are negatively affected as they are overwhelmed by the realization that they have violated their moral standards; this causes their guilt. The two attempt to conceal the remorse they experience, but despite this, their misdeeds take their toll. The effects most prominent throughout the play are the development of depression, paranoia, and emotional detachment. Ultimately, it becomes obvious that guilt is capable of bringing ruin to any individual. …show more content…
Stages of this mental illness touched on by the playwright are the overpowering initial impact, difficulties sleeping, and the suicidal tendencies. In the moments subsequent to the treasonous murder of Duncan, Lady Macbeth feels an irrepressible amount of guilt. This occurrence is the root of her depression as she experiences the weight of her crime and needs to be “look[ed] to” (2.3.115) and “exit...helped” (2.3.Stage Directions). Subsequently, the shameful state of mind Lady Macbeth suffers provokes complications with her sleep. The queen’s “heart is sorely charged” (5.1.46) which “keep[s] her from her rest” (5.3.40). Prevention from a peaceful slumber develops as a result of the immorality of her crimes being suppressed until it breaks her sanity and seeps into her dreams. Finally, guilt induces feelings of despair in Lady Macbeth so potent it causes her to take her own life. “The queen...is dead” (5.5.16) because she was not able to “minister to [herself]” (5.4.47). Depression bubbling inside of the queen becomes too much for her to bear alone. Regardless of this, she continues to harbour these emotions until she could endure no more and commits suicide. In brief, guilt concluded in the outcome of depression. The devastating primary effect, struggle to rest, and inclination of taking one’s life, all phases of this ailment, leads …show more content…
Situations which occur in particular are when he orders the slaughter of Macduff’s family and servants, becomes heartless towards those who feel emotion, and is apathetic towards his wife’s passing. The king becomes so cold due to his guilt-ridden mind, he orders the murder without an ounce of empathy. Plans to eliminate Macduff’s “wife,  babes, and all.../That trace him in his line” are constructed. If Macbeth had not shut off his emotions he would not have been able to make such an abhorrent decision. Comparatively, the recently crowned ruler of Scotland has become insensitive towards who still experience emotions. In the midst of an oncoming war, it is announced that Macbeth shall “hang those that talk of fear” (5.3.37). The instinctive response of fear has become forbidden as a consequence of Macbeth’s cold-blooded attitude. Similarly, he demonstrates this new demeanor when hearing the news of his wife’s death. The intrinsic human response of despair after the loss of a loved one is absent in Macbeth as he believes “she should have died hereafter”. Lady Macbeth’s husband has become so consumed by his remorse that he could not muster enough humanity to shed a tear for his beloved’s passing. In essence, the unyielding guilt weighing on Macbeth’s mind causes him to experience delusions of both sound and sight until it became
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Macbeth’s understandable distress is seen as an effeminate breakdown. His inability to move on from and accept death makes him a coward in the eyes of his wife, and like any man, hearing such an insult from his life partner struck him deeply. Hearing such an attack pushes Macbeth to do as his wife tells him, ignoring his own emotions, solely because he wants the comfort of being seen positively again. This desire is shown in a further interaction with Lady Macbeth. As said by the lady herself, “My hands are of your color, but I shame to wear a heart so white.”
Macbeth is no longer an honest, innocent husband, as he was in the beginning. Macbeth has completed his transition from an honest and caring leader, into a cold, heartless individual, which is shown when he voices: “She should have died hereafter / There would have been a time for such a word.” (V.v.17-18) Macbeth is informed about his wife’s suicide, and shows absolutely no remorse, which shows how heartless he has become.
The play entitled Macbeth by William Shakespeare portrays Macbeth, a loyal and brave thane to the king. When a prophecy reveals he will become king, Macbeth is overcome with ambition and greed. Convinced of this prophecy and the encouragement from his wife, he is able to kill the king and take the throne. Although Macbeth was able to obtain the throne, he was was overwhelmed by power and guilt leading to internal conflict, which suggests that success is not desirable through cheating and corruption and ultimately cost more than its actually worth, Macbeth`s reckless pursuit of killing and becoming the king is representative of the power he has and what he is able to do with the power he's gained; therefore. His relentless ambition for king reveals the guilt behind power.
With respect to Shakespeare’s drama Macbeth, Macbeth is a successful general who through a series of treacherous acts would later ascend to the medieval Scottish throne. In an effort to claim the Scottish throne and prevent some undesirable prophesies from witches, Macbeth and his wife Lady Macbeth organized a series of murders and assassinations targeting King Duncan and his probable heirs. Out of guilt and shame attributed to the treacherous acts, both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are haunted by troubled consciences, initiating their fateful endings. Admittedly, the emotional forces of shame and guilt played roles in directing Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to their early graves. Prior to analyzing the roles of shame and guilt in influencing the character’s
Macbeth’s guilt and battle with mental illness begins early within the play: right after the murder of King Duncan. Macbeth, once a loyal sergeant in Duncan’s army, has killed the king in order to possess the throne of Scotland. This act of such extreme measures begins Macbeth’s descent into madness and insomnia. Immediately after the murder of Duncan, Macbeth says, “Methought I heard a voice cry, ‘Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep.”
The need for Macbeth’s trial stands due to the given evidence for the charges against humanity, murder, and treason. He ruthlessly killed King Duncan, Banquo, and Macduff’s family. Their deaths are in vain if we do not indict him. Macbeth needs a prosecution because he willingly took the immoral path of aimless slaughter and selfish ambition. Even if Lady Macbeth pressured Macbeth, he killed King Duncan impelled by his own selfish ambition and lethal thoughts.
Walking in the night he heard the screams of women and said “I have almost forgot the taste of fear” (V.v.9). The shriek of women at the late of night would frighten most all of us, but not macbeth. He has been around so many wicked acts and it does not faze him. After getting news of his wife’s death he told the messenger “She should of died hereafter” (V.v.17). Although he does feel sorrow over her, he blames her death as an inconvenience.
As a result of her inability to escape the nightmare of immense guilt in sleeping or in wakefulness, Lady Macbeth crosses into the state of eternal sleep, death. In conclusion, William Shakespeare’s Macbeth demonstrates that a guilty conscience is a mind-probing enemy that can strike quietly and become a deadly, overpowering force that can subdue anyone with remorse. Through Lady Macbeth’s character transformation, the effects of a guilty conscience can thoroughly be seen. At the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is an ambitious character that can repress her guilt to perform evil to a high extent.
Being trapped in her own mind causes her to fall to the brink of insanity. Through the deterioration of the characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, William Shakespeare's Macbeth reveals the negative impact guilt has on a character’s state of being.
yet who would have thought the old man had so much blood in him” (5.1.36). Lady Macbeth feels as if she can not be mentally cleansed until her hands are. Lady Macbeth's failure to relieve the guilt causes her to commit suicide. “The queen, my lord, is dead… she should have died hereafter” (5.5.20). Lady Macbeth had too much guilt to deal with which is why she needed to be in peace.
Guilt plays a strong role in motivating Macbeth, and causes Lady Macbeth to be driven over the edge of her being insane leading to her death. Throughout the story, there are many different types of guilty feelings that play a role in Macbeth’s fatal decisions and bring Lady Macbeth to commit suicide. Although there are many instances that show the power guilt has played on the main characters, there are three examples
A Guilty Conscience: How Guilt Drives the Powerful to Insanity Guilt is the cause of the destruction of many, particularly in Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Macbeth. As Macbeth and Lady Macbeth continue to murder for the sake of power, they embark on opposite journeys but their guilt ultimately drives them both to insanity. Macbeth goes from being driven mad with guilt, to his instability causing him to murder recklessly. His wife goes from expressing no compassion or guilt to her guilt overcoming her and driving her to madness.
He was so caught up with the personal gain of his crimes that he lost sight of the immorality. Through his sudden burst of regret and fear, Macbeth is exposing himself similarly to how the victims of his crimes were exposed in their state of sleep. The vulnerable state of the
Mental Stability in Macbeth As Erma Bombeck once said, “Guilt: is the gift that keeps on giving” (“A Quote by Erma Bombeck”). In Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, guilt plays an enormous role in the development of Macbeth’s descent into madness. Macbeth is about Macbeth being persuaded by Lady Macbeth into committing heinous crimes, and it all started when Macbeth tells her about premonitions three witches gave him. In pursuit of making those premonitions come true, Macbeth kills King Duncan, which scares his children, Malcolm and Donalbain out of the country, allowing Macbeth to become King.
In William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, Shakespeare introduces us to a man on a mission to assassinate the reigning king of Scotland, King Duncan. Through King Duncan, Shakespeare reveals Macbeth’s crude and unfiltered nature while capturing every second of Macbeth’s sadistic plan. With the use of paradox, internal character struggles, and the idea of fate, Shakespeare provides insight on what madness Macbeth created and the effect his madness has on other characters. Through the use of paradox in the play, minor details guide the path of the story to the very end.