Someone famous once said, “Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion of death.” In the story of Macbeth this proves to be true as you examine the mental and physical effects Macbeth experienced as a result of guilt. Guilt is defined as feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy (Merriam Webster Online). Conscience is defined as the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one's own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good (Merriam Webster Online). The stage play “Macbeth” written by William Shakespeare is focused on the King of Scotland who is dealing with being overthrown by his dear friend Banquo. In the beginning of the play Macbeth kills King Duncan and Banquo knows about it. As Macbeth attempts to hold on to his current power, he eventually comes to the realization that the only way to stay on top is by killing Banquo. Macbeth himself does not kill Banquo, but instead commands that he be killed by others in order to keep his name clean. As a result, Macbeth is haunted by Banquo’s ghost and in the end endures death as a consequence. Although it is thought that Macbeth perhaps deserved the guilty conscience bestowed upon him as a result of Banquo’s death, he indeed fell victim to his own guilty conscience and that was what killed him in the end.
Some may think that a guilty conscience only affects you mentally, but