Guilty Conscience In Macbeth

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What happens to a person when they kill innocent people to obtain power? In 1606 Shakespeare wrote the play Macbeth that answers this question in depth. In Macbeth the titular character Macbeth,along with his wife, start a bloody campaign that ends with several innocent people murdered. The killing starts when Macbeth hears a prophecy that says he will be king one day. His wife, Lady Macbeth, convinces him to kill the sitting king to make the prophecy come true. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth then plot to kill everyone that could stop them from being King and Queen. Unfortunately for the Macbeth’s, all of this death takes a toll on the them in the form of a guilty conscience. Their guilty consciences allows Shakespeare to depict how guilt can destroy …show more content…
Before Macbeth tries to kill Duncan he sees a dagger that he can not touch,“To feeling as to sight? Or art thou but A dagger of the mind, a false creation,Proceeding from the heat-oppressèd brain?”(Shakespeare 2.1.44-55). Macbeth realizes that this dagger is an image of his imagination and that it is pointing in the direction of Duncan’s room. The dagger then becomes covered in blood, which symbolizes how guilty Macbeth feels about killing King Duncan. Macbeth has not even killed Duncan, yet he still feels guilty enough that his mind is playing tricks on him. By seeing objects that are not even there Macbeth takes his first step into insanity. Immediately after killing King Duncan, Macbeth runs to his wife telling her that the deed is done. Macbeth also shares that he hears strange voices after killing the king he says that “One cried, 'God bless us! ' and 'Amen, ' the other, as they had seen me with these hangman 's hands. List 'ning their fear, I could not say 'Amen, ' when they did say 'God bless us '. Methought, I heard a voice cry, 'Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep”(Shakespeare 2.2.24-27). These strange voices are telling Macbeth that he has murdered sleep with symbolizes Macbeth killing Duncan. These voices in Macbeth’s are contrived by Macbeth’s guilt over killing Duncan, and further push Macbeth into …show more content…
Sixty years ago an irish student named Thomas Caldwell punched one of his jewish classmates in the face. He got away with, but his guilt ate at him for sixty years until he took action to make amends. Caldwell put an ad in the newspaper apologizing to his classmate that he punched sixty years earlier. Some people would say that putting an apology in an ad sixty years after the fact is a bit peculiar because the victim most likely did not even see the ad, but it shows that Caldwell was tortured by the guilt of what he did for years. Even though punching someone is not the same as killing a King, and putting an ad in the newspaper is not as crazy as killing innocent people these incidents are related. They are both examples of how a guilty conscience can have a negative effect on a person’s mental state. This does not mean that guilt is a bad thing because guilt lets a person know when they have done something wrong. A problem only occurs when a person goes against their guilt and continues to commit even worse acts, which is accurately depicted in

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