Discuss Macbeth as a penetrating psychological study of guilt. Give examples from the text to prove your point.

Discuss Macbeth as a penetrating psychological study of guilt. Give examples from the text to prove your point.

Discuss Macbeth as a penetrating psychological study of guilt. Give examples from the text to prove your point.

Discuss Macbeth as a penetrating psychological study of guilt. Give examples from the text to prove your point.

First, Macbeth is just a good story.  An honorable man is tempted into committing the unspeakable:  murdering his king, his kinsman, and his guest.  But Shakespeare’s greatness lies in his ability to understand human nature.  What separates Macbeth from villains such as Iago is his guilt.  In fact, before the murder, Macbeth knows all the reasons that he should not kill Duncan.  He knows that it is only his “vaulting ambition” that overrides his scruples, but notice that before he goes in to kill Duncan that he is almost delirious, seeing a bloody dagger in the air.  This murder is not easy for him. His last words before killing Duncan refer to the bell that “summons thee to heaven or to hell.”  This line is an especially important line because Macbeth does believe in the afterlife, and he knows that he is trading his soul for the kingship. After the murder, Macbeth is filled with regret and remorse.  He cannot say “Amen” ; he wishes that the knocking at the gate could awaken Duncan.  He feels as if he will turn the green sea red when he tries to wash the blood off his hands.  Macbeth is not a psychopath; he is deeply remorseful for what he did.  And this remorse keeps him from sleeping at night. But he has crossed the line into the world of evil, and he feels as if there is no return.  He has already lost his “eternal jewel,” his soul, so he becomes more and more desparate to make sure that this sacrifice has been worth it.  To remain safely king, he feels he must continue to kill; this conclusion leads to the murder of Banquo and MacDuff’s family.  But these murders affect his conscience as well.  Deeply.   He sees the ghost of Banquo at the banquet, and he reacts with horror. His subconscious guilt cannot be suppressed.   When he faces Macduff in the final act, he does not want to kill him:  “My soul is too much charged/With blood of thine already.” Macbeth is a good man who commits evil acts.  And in so doing, loses everything: his peace and contentment in the here and now as well as his soul, and he is acutely aware of these consequences throughout the play.    Through Macbeth,Shakespeare shows the overwhelming effects of guilt.
Discuss Macbeth as a penetrating psychological study of guilt. Give examples from the text to prove your point.