Shakespeare's Guilt In Macbeth

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Guilt: The Greatest Hindrance in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth A tortuous obstacle and key factor in Macbeth is guilt. Every character encounters it and handles it in many different ways. Voltaire once said, “Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.” This applies to the main character, Macbeth, perfectly because almost throughout the entire play, he portrays a ruthless villain, who does not think about how his actions will affect his people. As well as Macbeth, his wife Lady Macbeth, and the Thane of Fife Macduff, all face colossal amounts of regret and exhibit similar characteristics in how they each handle their feelings. Although each have different demons to fight, in the end retributive justice comes down upon them all. Macbeth…show more content…
In most stories the hero does not experience extreme guilt. If they do, it usually is not near the end of the story. Macduff has fled to England to help Malcolm in forming an army to rise up against Macbeth. He has done nothing wrong and is trying to help his country. Once Ross brings him the news of his family’s death, he immediately and wrongly blames himself for their fate, “... Sinful Macduff,/They were all struck for thee! naught that I am,/Not for their own demerits, but for mine... (IV.iii.262-264). Additionally, the way that Macbeth speaks of Macduff when he is planning his family’s murder shows even more how undeserving Macduff is of this cruel and brutal sacrifice, “The castle of Macduff I will surprise:/Seize upon Fife; give to the edge o’ the sword/His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls... (IV.i.165-167). Although both Macbeth and Macduff used their guilt as motivators to achieve their goals, Macduff was the only one who used it to do something right, which was to help his country. Lady Macbeth was feeble and let her guilt drive her to the point of insanity and suicide, unlike her husband, who was determined to die fighting. As Macbeth fights Macduff in the final battle, he cowardly says he does not want to fight him because he already killed his family, “But get thee back; my soul is too much charged/With blood of thine already.”…show more content…
Lady Macbeth deserves her fate because she was the sole orchestrator in the grisly murder of the king. Macbeth is an obvious threat to Scotland and his people, so the only way to stop and make him pay was to kill him. Macbeth is very deserving of his death because he kills so many innocent people; Duncan, Banquo, and Macduff’s family. Fortunately, Macduff receives everything he rightfully deserves by killing Macbeth and avenging his family’s murder. Macduff is, and will be known as, the sole hero of Scotland and the man who crowns the rightful
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