The Tips Of Sacrifice In William Shakespeare's Macbeth

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“I was confided to your loyalty and accepted by your treason; you offer my death to those to whom you had promised my life. Do you know who it is you are destroying here? It is yourself” (Victor Hugo, Ninety-Three). Macbeth learns this valuable lesson in the play, Macbeth, by William Shakespeare. Macbeth takes place in Scotland, and centers around the overly ambitious Macbeth. Macbeth receives a prophecy that promises him to be the king of Scotland, and this pushes him to murder the current king, Duncan, in order to complete the prophecies. Shakespeare claims that treason is the most heinous crime against the state and against humanity; he proves this through the punishment suffered by Macbeth and Lady Macbeth along with the disruption in nature …show more content…
By saying that “Neptune 's ocean” cannot wipe this blood, Shakespeare proves that there is no way for Macbeth to make up for what he has done, and now Macbeth will have to suffer through the guilt. No amount of water, which holds a connection to purity, can save him after he commits this act of treason against the state. Barbara Riebling, in her article “Virtue 's Sacrifice: A Machiavellian Reading of Macbeth” for Studies in English Literature, explains, “by murdering Duncan, and Duncan alone, Macbeth 's worst fears come true. He unleashes a flood of events that so outrace his efforts at containment that he finally resorts to a reign of terror” (Riebling). Moreover, Lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth to carry out the murder that she planned, and acts as an accessory to the murder. After the completion of the act, her confidence and excitement for it slowly deteriorates, until she is left with harrowing inner guilt. Lady Macbeth’s extreme guilt results in a strange illness that consist of constant fits of hallucinations and Lady Macbeth talking to herself: “What, will these hands ne’er be clean? No / more o’ that, my lord, no more o’ that. You mar all / with this starting” (Shakespeare V. i. 45-47). Lady Macbeth constantly imagines …show more content…
Although Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to murder Duncan, the punishment that she endures is because she committed an act of treason by agreeing, plotting and participating in the murder, not for manipulating Macbeth. During her fit of guilt she says, “Yet here is a spot. / … Out, damned spot, out, I say! One, Two / why then, ‘tis time to do ‘t. Hell is murky” (Shakespeare V. i. 33, 37-38). Lady Macbeth imagines blood on her hands, not Macbeths hands, and this proves that she feels guilt for personally committing treason. By exclaiming, “hell is murky” she proves that going to Hell will be a upcoming consequence of her crime. Furthermore, she proves that the guilt she feels centers on the act of committing treason. Lady Macbeth acted as an accessory to the murder of her king and therefore committed treason. After completing her crime she begins to feel guilyt, she says, “what need we fear / who knows it, when none can call our power to / account? Yet who would have thought the old man / to have had so much blood in him” (Shakespeare V. ii. 39-42). By questioning what she has to fear, Lady Macbeth proves that the way she feels has nothing to do with Macbeth and what she said to him. Because thoughts of Duncan plague Lady Macbeth thoughts, she says Duncan had “so much

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