Macbeth Guilt Analysis

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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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