The Role of Guilt in Macbeth

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The Role of Guilt in Macbeth  

 In the story Macbeth fears what will happen to him in the life to come, with thoughts of an undetermined destiny which worry him while his evil deeds may come back to him. Mixed emotions run through Macbeth's mind as he is mid-struck between Duncan's fate. His uncertainty according to this matter builds upon his guilt of the thought of betraying his friends trust. Towards the end of his soliloquy, he begins to use vocabulary that describe and display the image of heavens in the after-life. "Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued..." Macbeth's speech appears to be delivered in a steady manner, showing his thoughts are flowing endlessly about the assassination.

There are three examples that show this the best. One is, just after the murder of the great King, Duncan. Guilt overcomes Macbeth where he can no longer think straight. A second example is soon after that, where all the guilt Macbeth feels at first, changes into hate after he decides that Banquo must be killed as well. The last example is just about at the end of the play, when we see Lady Macbeth sleepwalking, and then later committing suicide; this all because of the burden of her guilt. All of these examples build the proof that in this play, guilt plays a very large role in the characters’ lives.

It all began after the murder of Duncan, when Macbeth returns to his room to join his wife. As any person would be, Macbeth is very shaken by his wrong act.

As soon as Act III is set up, we see Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Banquo having a nice friendly conversation. Macbeth was already crowned king, and a dinner was planned for that night. Banquo was to be the "guest of honor". Macbeth was already conspiring his friend’s death. Guilt seems to play a motivating role when he says, "Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill" What he is referring to, is his guilt; if you do something bad once, it will bother you. If you do it again, it will bother you less. If you...
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