Macbeth's Conscience Research Paper

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“Our conscience is a measure of our honesty of our selfishness” (Richard Bach). As people go through their days, they make millions of decisions with the help of that little voice in their head that tells the difference between right or wrong: the conscience. The conscience is sometimes called the moral compass, not only because it points us toward what is right, but also because the holder of the compass must choose whether or not to follow the direction it is pointed. Macbeth’s decision to kill Duncan teaches us what happens when we ignore our consciences, which steer us towards what is right, because our conscience is a voice to help us resist temptation. One example of Macbeth’s ignorance towards his inner conscience is when he feels that …show more content…

Had Macbeth elected to follow his conscience, his life would have been better off. Macbeth’s conscience directs him away from the murder of Duncan many times throughout the play, but Macbeth ignores all attempts by his conscience to keep him from becoming morally crooked. Another example of Macbeth’s ignorance towards his conscience is when Macbeth sees the moral crookedness of killing Duncan in his own home, yet does it anyway. Macbeth says, “He’s here in double trust” (I.vii.12). Macbeth is pointing out that Duncan is not only his king, but also his houseguest. Macbeth has a responsibility to protect Duncan because he is the king of Scotland, and he also has a duty to protect Duncan because he is a houseguest. Duncan has recently awarded Macbeth the title of Thane of Cawdor, a title that Macbeth has highly coveted. However, instead of recognizing the good motives of his king and being thankful for the title when the king is visiting him, Macbeth begins to covet the king’s own title. He cannot be satisfied with the title he has been given, so he begins to plan the murder of Duncan. Macbeth’s conscience tells him again to resist temptation to gain the crown and not kill Duncan because he is a man Macbeth should defend and protect. Even after this nudge towards moral correctness, Macbeth kills Duncan. He begins to feel intense guilt about his decision, and lives in fear of

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