Self-Perception In Macbeth

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“What’s done cannot be undone.” (Macbeth V, i, 62, 63) This fact often changes one’s self-perception when an offense is committed and guilt begins to set in. When a person’s self-perception changes, an individual’s thoughts begin to change because their focus has shifted. In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, he conveys the idea that self-perception drives a person’s thought processes, which in turn show through their actions; therefore, if their self-perception is extremely negative, their flaws will be before them constantly and will create a false reality for them to dwell in. Lady Macbeth exemplifies this idea, revealing through her thoughts and actions how her guilt changes the way she views herself and causes her to live unattached from reality. In the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is a cold hearted, brave, practical, and strong character. She perceives that she is soft because she is a woman, so she calls upon spirits and is determined to become “...full of direst cruelty.” (I, v, 44-45) This new self-perception motivates her to arrange and oversee the murder of Duncan. She believes that she is the strong one, having been unconvinced that Macbeth could murder the king…show more content…
Rather than exhibit her unwavering confidence that their plan will work, she begins to realize that they aren’t gaining anything and that concealing her agitation is taxing and difficult. She views herself as the practical advisor who keeps her and Macbeth’s mental states and actions in check. Since she is Macbeth’s advisor and supporter, she feels the need to set aside her feelings of doubt in his presence and think practically to advise and reassure him. The effect that this has on Lady Macbeth is that in concealing her emotions, she doesn’t deal with them or vent and it leads to the decline of her mental health later in the play. The irony in this is that in Act II she
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