top of page

Cell Phone Dealer's Group

Public·77 members
Otto Rodionov
Otto Rodionov

Macbeth Guilt Essay: The Psychological and Moral Consequences of Ambition and Regicide


Macbeth Guilt Essay: How Guilt Drives the Tragic Hero to His Doom




Macbeth is one of the most famous tragedies by William Shakespeare, which tells the story of a Scottish general who murders his way to the throne, only to be consumed by guilt and paranoia. The play explores the psychological and moral effects of guilt on the protagonist, who becomes a tragic hero doomed by his own ambition and flaw. In this essay, I will analyze how Macbeth's guilt drives him to his doom, by looking at how it manifests in his hallucinations and paranoia, how it affects his relationship with Lady Macbeth and other characters, how it leads him to commit more crimes and lose his moral compass, and how it makes him vulnerable to the prophecies and the enemies.




macbeth guilt essay



How Macbeth's Guilt Manifests in His Hallucinations and Paranoia




One of the most evident ways that Macbeth's guilt manifests in the play is through his hallucinations and paranoia, which haunt him throughout the play. These visions and voices reveal his inner turmoil and his fear of being discovered and punished for his crimes. They also show how he loses touch with reality and becomes a prisoner of his own mind.


The first hallucination that Macbeth experiences is the dagger that he sees before he kills Duncan, the king of Scotland. He says, "Is this a dagger which I see before me, / The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee" (Act 2, Scene 1). The dagger represents his murderous intention and his temptation to commit regicide. It also foreshadows the blood that will stain his hands and his conscience. He wonders if it is a "false creation" or a "dagger of the mind" that reflects his guilt and fear. He says, "I have thee not, and yet I see thee still" (Act 2, Scene 1). The dagger shows how Macbeth's guilt distorts his perception and makes him doubt his senses.


The second hallucination that Macbeth suffers from is the ghost of Banquo, his former friend and ally, whom he orders to be killed because he fears that he will expose his crimes and challenge his throne. He sees Banquo's ghost sitting in his place at the banquet, which terrifies him and makes him lose control. He says, "Thou canst not say I did it: never shake / Thy gory locks at me" (Act 3, Scene 4). The ghost represents Macbeth's remorse and guilt for killing Banquo, who was loyal and honorable to him. It also symbolizes his fear of being haunted by the ghosts of his victims. He says, "Avaunt! and quit my sight! let the earth hide thee! / Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold" (Act 3, Scene 4). The ghost shows how Macbeth's guilt torments him and makes him unable to enjoy his power.


The third hallucination that Macbeth encounters is the apparitions that he sees at the witches' cave, where he seeks more prophecies about his future. He sees three apparitions: an armed head, a bloody child, and a child crowned with a tree in his hand. They tell him to beware of Macduff, that no one born of woman can harm him, and that he will not be vanquished until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane. He also sees a procession of eight kings, followed by Banquo's ghost holding a mirror. He says, "What, will the line stretch out to th' crack of doom? / Another yet! A seventh! I'll see no more: / And yet the eighth appears" (Act 4, Scene 1). The apparitions represent Macbeth's insecurity and curiosity about his fate. They also deceive him with their ambiguous and paradoxical words, which make him overconfident and careless. They show how Macbeth's guilt blinds him to the dangers of the prophecies and the enemies.


In conclusion, Macbeth's hallucinations and paranoia show how his guilt torments his mind and makes him lose touch with reality. They also reflect his inner conflict and his fear of being exposed and defeated for his crimes. They show how guilt drives him to madness and despair.


How Macbeth's Guilt Affects His Relationship with Lady Macbeth and Other Characters




How Macbeth's Guilt Leads Him to Commit More Crimes and Lose His Moral Compass




Another way that Macbeth's guilt drives him to his doom is by leading him to a vicious cycle of violence and tyranny, as he tries to secure his power and silence his conscience. He becomes a ruthless and bloodthirsty tyrant, who loses all sense of honor and justice. He also becomes a victim of his own crimes, as they backfire on him and create more enemies and obstacles for him.


The first crime that Macbeth commits after killing Duncan is the murder of Banquo and the attempted murder of Fleance, his son. He fears that Banquo knows too much about his crimes and that his descendants will inherit the throne, as the witches prophesied. He says, "To be thus is nothing; / But to be safely thus. Our fears in Banquo / Stick deep" (Act 3, Scene 1). He hires two murderers to kill Banquo and Fleance, but Fleance escapes. He says, "There the grown serpent lies; the worm that's fled / Hath nature that in time will venom breed" (Act 3, Scene 4). The murder of Banquo shows how Macbeth's guilt makes him paranoid and insecure about his position. It also shows how he resorts to more violence to eliminate his rivals and threats.


The second crime that Macbeth commits is the massacre of Macduff's family, who are innocent and defenseless. He orders their death because he learns that Macduff has fled to England to join Malcolm, Duncan's son and the rightful heir to the throne. He says, "The castle of Macduff I will surprise; / Seize upon Fife; give to th' edge o' th' sword / His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls / That trace him in his line" (Act 4, Scene 1). The slaughter of Macduff's family shows how Macbeth's guilt makes him cruel and tyrannical. It also shows how he loses his moral compass and his humanity.


The third crime that Macbeth commits is the slaughter of the innocent people in Dunsinane, where he makes his last stand against the invading army. He orders his soldiers to kill anyone who opposes him or tries to escape. He says, "Hang those that talk of fear. Give me mine armour" (Act 5, Scene 3). The slaughter of the people in Dunsinane shows how Macbeth's guilt makes him desperate and reckless. It also shows how he alienates himself from his subjects and his allies, who turn against him or desert him.


In conclusion, Macbeth's guilt drives him to a vicious cycle of violence and tyranny, as he tries to secure his power and silence his conscience. He becomes a ruthless and bloodthirsty tyrant, who loses all sense of honor and justice. He also becomes a victim of his own crimes, as they backfire on him and create more enemies and obstacles for him.


How Macbeth's Guilt Makes Him Vulnerable to the Prophecies and the Enemies




The final way that Macbeth's guilt drives him to his doom is by making him vulnerable to the prophecies and the enemies, who exploit his weakness and bring about his downfall. He becomes overconfident and careless about the dangers of the prophecies and the enemies, who use them to their advantage. He also becomes fatalistic and resigned to his fate, as he realizes that he cannot escape it.


The Dangers of the Prophecies




The prophecies that Macbeth receives from the witches are one of the main sources of his guilt and downfall. They tempt him with their ambiguous and paradoxical words, which make him believe that he is destined to be king and invincible. They also deceive him with their double meanings and false assurances, which make him overlook the loopholes and conditions that they entail.


The first prophecy that Macbeth receives from the witches is that he will be thane of Glamis, thane of Cawdor, and king hereafter (Act 1, Scene 3). This prophecy sparks his ambition and makes him contemplate killing Duncan to fulfill it. He says, "If good, why do I yield to that suggestion / Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair / And make my seated heart knock at my ribs" (Act 1, Scene 3). The prophecy also makes him suspicious and fearful of Banquo, who is prophesied to be the father of kings. He says, "Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none" (Act 3, Scene 1). The prophecy shows how Macbeth's guilt makes him greedy and ambitious. It also shows how he becomes a slave of his fate and his flaw.


The second prophecy that Macbeth receives from the witches is that he should beware of Macduff, that no one born of woman can harm him, and that he will not be vanquished until Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane (Act 4, Scene 1). This prophecy makes him confident and arrogant, as he thinks that he is safe and secure from any danger. He says, "Then live, Macduff: what need I fear of thee? / But yet I'll make assurance double sure" (Act 4, Scene 1). The prophecy also makes him careless and reckless, as he ignores the warnings and the signs that his enemies are plotting against him. He says, "I'll fight till from my bones my flesh be hack'd. / Give me my armour" (Act 5, Scene 3). The prophecy shows how Macbeth's guilt blinds him to the dangers of the prophecies and the enemies. It also shows how he falls into the trap of the witches and their words.


The Dangers of the Enemies




The enemies that Macbeth faces are another source of his guilt and downfall. They are the ones who challenge his power and expose his crimes. They are also the ones who fulfill the prophecies and bring about his doom. They use his weakness and his guilt to their advantage and to their revenge.


The first enemy that Macbeth faces is Macduff, who is the thane of Fife and a loyal supporter of Duncan. He is the one who discovers Duncan's murder and suspects Macbeth of being the culprit. He says, "O horror, horror, horror! Tongue nor heart / Cannot conceive nor name thee!" (Act 2, Scene 3). He is also the one who flees to England to join Malcolm and raise an army against Macbeth. He says, "Bleed, bleed, poor country! / Great tyranny! lay thou thy basis sure" (Act 4, Scene 3). He is also the one who kills Macbeth in a final duel, revealing that he was not born of woman but "from his mother's womb / Untimely ripp'd" (Act 5, Scene 8). He is the one who fulfills the first part of the prophecy and avenges Duncan's death.


The second enemy that Macbeth faces is Malcolm, who is Duncan's son and the rightful heir to the throne. He is the one who escapes to England after Duncan's murder and avoids being killed by Macbeth. He says, "What will you do? Let's not consort with them: / To show an unfelt sorrow is an office / Which the false man does easy" (Act 2, Scene 3). He is also the one who tests Macduff's loyalty and rallies an army against Macbeth. He says, "Macduff, this noble passion, / Child of integrity, hath from my soul / Wiped the black scruples" (Act 4, Scene 3). He is also the one who leads the