Guilt In Macbeth

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Through the composition of the Tragedy of Macbeth (1606), Shakespeare has effectively portrayed common values and themes of his context, being emphasised through elements of literature such as plot, characterisation and literary techniques. In contrast to other playwrights, Shakespeare has elaborately developed the plot and characters in a manner that allows for further insight into the internal complications of a character, thus allowing greater understanding of themes expressed. With an analysis of the play of Macbeth, the underlying themes of guilt, gender expectations and manhood, and appearance vs reality, are palpable. In the play, Shakespeare has efficiently integrated the concept of guilt, depicting the psychological turmoil experienced…show more content…
Guiltiness is evident frequently in the dialogue of the characters of Macbeth and his wife, occurring as repercussions to their act of regicide. Immediately after murdering Duncan, guilt is imminent in the thoughts of Macbeth through the biblical allusions in “One cried, God bless us! and Amen, the other, as they had seen me with these hangman's hands. List'ning their fear, I could not say Amen, when they did say 'God bless us'. Methought, I heard a voice cry, Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep”--Macbeth, Act II, scene II, giving the impression of urgency, the dialogue illustrates the difficulty for Macbeth to express ‘Amen’ and ‘God Bless us’, believing that God no longer offers protection and support to him. The metaphorical language in ‘Macbeth does murder sleep’ indirectly infers that Macbeth has suffered immense pain and guilt over the murder and implies that this will result in insomnia. Many aspects of the plot are consequences of the guilty consciences of Macbeth and his wife. In Act V of the play, we witness Lady Macbeth sleepwalking,…show more content…
Shakespeare has thoroughly described the archetypal views towards the qualities and traits expected of a man. The attribute of courage or bravery is believed to be essential, this is clear in Act I in which Macbeth is respected for his courage in the battle, in which he is referred to as “Bellona’s bridegroom”, a metaphor comparing Macbeth to Mars, the god of war. In contrast, cowardliness and fear are viewed as features of non-masculinity. Manliness in this context is seen as of great importance, evident in Act III, when Macbeth’s feelings of guilt after Banquo’s death displeases his wife, in “are you a man?”-Lady Macbeth, Act III, Scene 4, to which Macbeth replies with “ay, and a brave one”, immediately displacing his thoughts after questioning of his manhood. The expectations of men and the value of manliness are represented, proving a major theme in the

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