Macbeth Guilt Essay

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Guilt is a feeling of deserving blame for an offense of some nature, causing one to feel self-conscious and doubtful of their own worth. A lack of guilt can cause a person to be overly confident and lack good judgment. In Shakespeare's Macbeth the theme of the characters guilt is successfully expressed through the imagery used to describe the actions and traits of the characters. This allows us to see how their guilt affects the different characters and the way they act. In the play, three types of imagery are used to express the theme of guilt. Firstly, blood imagery is used throughout the play to describe the guilt Macbeth and Lady Macbeth feel, illustrating it like a stain on their conscience. Secondly, sleep imagery is used to express guilt, …show more content…

During Act 2 scene 3 of the play Macduff has revealed to the others that Duncan has been murdered. This is right after Macbeth had killed the guards who are suspected of killing the King. During this scene he is seen expressing his grief for Duncan dying to Lennox and Macduff. Macbeth expresses his guilt of Duncan’s death: “Here lay Duncan, his silver skin lac’d with his golden blood” (2.3, 108-109). Macbeth uses blood imagery to describe Duncan, describing he has golden blood. When Macbeth says that Duncan has golden blood it highlights his belief that he sees Duncan as something precious. For Macbeth, Duncan's death is a loss of someone dear to him. This act is the catalyst for the rest of the actions in the play. Blood imagery is used to express how Macbeth feels guilt for killing Duncan. In addition, Lady Macbeth is caught sleepwalking and talking by her maid and doctor, admitting to killing Duncan. She is caught saying “Yet who would have thought the old man to had so much blood in him?” (5.1, 34-36). In this quote Lady Macbeth expresses grief by using Duncan’s blood as imagery. Blood represents the stain on Lady Macbeth's conscience and the amount of blood parallels the amount of guilt that she is surprised she is feeling. Blood imagery here represents her conscience and expresses her feelings of guilt. This supports the theme of guilt because it shows how Macbeth’s own guilt has now affected Lady Macbeth. Furthermore, right before the final fight between Macbeth and the English army, lead by Macduff and Malcolm, Macduff uses his guilt to inspire the soldiers by saying, “Make our trumpets speak; give them all breath, these clamarous harbingers of blood and death” (5.6, 9-10). Blood imagery is used here with a more positive connotation. Macduff uses blood imagery to describe Macbeth

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