Effects Of Guilt In Macbeth

Words: 923
Pages: 4

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, consists of numerous themes regarding the evil intentions and tragic downfall of the nobleman Macbeth and his wife Lady Macbeth. Hopeful prophecies that Macbeth receives, creates ambition and greed in both, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth which drives them to reach their goals and fulfill their fate. Along the way, through sinful deeds, they ultimately face the corrosive effects of guilt. The guilt they experience demonstrates the projection of their personal conflicts, directed by the destruction of not only their reputation, but also their mind. The effects of the theme are reinforced through the literary devices of blood, hands, and sleep imagery. First, blood imagery emphasizes the theme of the corrosive effects …show more content…
Due to unjustified faults committed by Macbeth and his accomplice, they both are unable to tranquilly sleep. When Macbeth is speaking to Lady Macbeth, he refers to, “these terrible dreams/ That shake us nightly” (3.2.20-23). Macbeth emphasizes that both he and his wife spend their nights tossing and turning, plagued with nightmares, causing them to experience mental torture and constant sleep deprivation. Likewise, Lady Macbeth’s troubled mind is observed through her restlessness over the course of several nights. The portrayal of Lady Macbeth in this way verifies that her guilt-filled heart involves her mind and soul as well. The doctor replies to this as, “a great perturbation in nature” (5.1.8), stating that her sleepwalking is a disturbance caused by her, “infected mind” (5.1.64). The significance of Lady Macbeth’s infected mind validates that she over thinks and abuses her thoughts, constantly pressuring and bringing up the guilt she is trying to escape. Therefore, the experiences of prolonged conflict, indicates Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s intense guilt through their inability to sleep, let alone sleep peacefully.
In conclusion, the literary devices of blood, hands and sleep imagery reveals the corrosive effects of guilt on Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s life and future. Both Macbeth, as a gracious and courageous nobleman, and Lady Macbeth, a calm and intelligent wife, have a strong bond with their King and country. However, when the aspect of fate and ambition take over, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth commit a sinful deed that instills a deep and intense guilt into their minds which not only, indicates the ruin of their status, but also their perception. This intense guilt causes them to both conclusively face their tragic