A conscience is what the mind tells a person when he or she has a decision or an action to make. The way a person perceives what their conscience is telling them reflects on their own morality. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, he creates a theme of conscience. Most of the characters have a conscience, but not everyone actually listens to it. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both have strong consciences, but they choose to ignore what their consciences are telling them which drives them down a fateful road in the end.
Macbeth is told by the witches, who have no conscience, that he will become king. When he spreads the news to Lady Macbeth, she immediately assumes that they have to kill the current king, King Duncan, in order for that to happen. With Lady Macbeth’s charm and seduction towards Macbeth she gradually manipulates him into thinking that he does have to kill the king himself. This is when Macbeth’s conscience starts to tell him something. When Macbeth is outside King Duncan’s room, getting ready to kill him, he starts to hallucinate. He says, “A dagger of the mind, a false creation, / Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?” (2.1.46) Shakespeare illustrated that Macbeth is seeing a dagger floating in the air to portray the guilt he feels. This is his conscience telling him that it is wrong to kill Duncan. Even though he’s seeing this dagger and he knows it is projecting from his mind, he chooses to ignore the sign. He says, “There’s no such thing: / It is the bloody business which informs / Thus to mine eyes.” (2.1.55) He pushes the mirage to the side and thinks nothing of it. Macbeth went on to kill Duncan even though he knew it was wrong.
The whole reason why Macbeth killed Duncan was because Lady Macbeth wielded him into believing he had to. Lady Macbeth holds herself together after Macbeth killed Duncan, but Macbeth starts going insane because of the overwhelming guilt. But Macbeth murdering Duncan was not the end of his... [continues]
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