Why Is Guilt Important In Macbeth

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Guilt plays a very important role throughout the course of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Not only does it advance the plot, but it plays a major role in character development throughout the play, particularly in the cases of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The two characters handled their guilt very differently, thus causing their different downfalls. Macbeth ignores his guilt, thus leading him to commit further crimes and blurring his moral conscience. Lady Macbeth handles her guilt differently; she has no method of distraction and is haunted by her guilt. Being trapped in her own mind causes her to fall to the brink of insanity. Through the deterioration of the characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, William Shakespeare's Macbeth reveals the negative impact guilt has on a character’s state of being.…show more content…
However, Edward S. Kubany has developed a definition of guilt that is easily comprehended. He states that “guilt is defined phenomenological as an unpleasant feeling with accompanying beliefs that one should have thought, felt, or acted differently" (Kubany). Kubany’s definition states that guilt is derived from the feeling that one should have acted differently in a certain situation, particularly one for which they are at fault. Feeling responsible for a particular negative situation is synonymous to guilt. This definition can easily be applied to both Macbeth and his wife. The murder of Duncan is the definitive moment which becomes the source of guilt for both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth; it is the negative event that they both feel responsible

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