Theme Of Hands In Macbeth

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Both contemporary and ancient literary works commonly use hands as a device to represent various overarching themes; for example, the possession of power or good versus evil. In the play, Macbeth, Shakespeare often uses this motif of hands to enhance the clarity of his desired message. At first impression, Macbeth appears to be a loyal and righteous character; however, his own desire for power and the influence of his wife, Lady Macbeth, both lead him to commit a relentless sequence of crimes. Along with creating this chain reaction of events, simply performing one unethical act elicits a feeling of guilt that cannot be washed away, and also corrupts those surrounding the initial wrongdoer. Through the motif of hands, Shakespeare demonstrates that the negative repercussions of an immoral action cannot be repressed and will ultimately corrupt a person’s character. The hands of Macbeth originally act as a source of his power and confidence; however, as he begins to commit unforgivable crimes, they become a malicious and uncontrollable part of his body. At the beginning of the first act, Shakespeare presents Macbeth as a valiant soldier who fights for the benefit of his country. While battling against his adversary, Macdonwald, Macbeth, “like a valour’s minion[,] carved out his passage till he faced the slave,…show more content…
Macbeth emphasizes the importance of refraining from unprincipled acts by demonstrating the fragility of the human conscience when faced with guilt and an opportunity to gain power. In order to connect to this overarching theme, Shakespeare successfully uses hands to illustrate that the negative repercussions of an immorality are inescapable and will inevitably demoralize the
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