The play MACBETH is filled with suffering. It begins with reports of a bloody battle, an execution of a traitor and Macbeth's bloodthirsty heroism as he "unseamed" one of the invaders "from the nave of the chaps". In comparison MacBeth's later actions are even worse as he commits violent crimes against his own people. Much of the suffering in the play is directly attributable to Macbeth. However, the central focus of the play is the suffering he himself undergoes, as he makes his way through his course of evil.
Macbeth caused the suffering of many during his dark quest to become King of Scotland. Many innocents were brutally slaughtered as a result of Macbeth's actions, Banquo, King Duncan, Lady Macduff and her children. However many
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Macbeth murders his great king and only moments later feels horrible guilt, "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand?"(2:2:77) Blood on hands is a symbol of guilt that Macbeth sees often in this play "with thy bloody and invisible hand" (3:2:53) He feels guilt like he has never experienced before "gouts of blood, which was not so before"(2:1:53) he says. The blood on Macbeth's hands is not the only mental disturbance he experiences. He sees daggers floating in the air "A dagger of the mind, a false creation" he says. Soon after the murder of Banquo, Macbeth's friend, Macbeth sees the bloody ghost of Banquo sitting in his chair "never shake they gory locks at me" he cries. "What sights, my lord?" questions Ross as no body else can see the images Macbeth describes.
As well as mental disturbances, sleeplessness also plagues Macbeth. He has murdered Duncan in his sleep and has committed a crime against nature. "In the affliction of these terrible dreams that shake us nightly"(3:2:19) he tells Lady Macbeth. He is jealous of Duncan as he is now at rest "Duncan is in his grave, after life's fitful fever he sleeps well."(3:2:25) he says.
Macbeth's lack of sleep and the sudden death of his wife, drives Macbeth to despair and leaves him feeling that life is meaningless. He compares life to a candle that is easily blown out and an actor "who struts and frets him hour