Macbeth: Guilt Consumes People Essay

808 words - 3 pages

William Shakespeare wrote the play Macbeth. One, of many the themes in this play was evil. A consequence of evil is guilt. The consequence of guilt can be seen after every evil action takes place in the play. Shakespeare uses many poetic techniques to communicate the theme of guilt consumes people. Shakespeare uses several methods to emphasize this theme including imagery, metaphors and rhymes. One method Shakespeare uses is imagery to emphasize the theme of guilt consumes people. Right after Macbeth kills Duncan (the king of Scotland) he says, "Methought I heard a voice cry 'sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more!'"(26). Cleary Macbeth is distraught. His guilt is interfering with his sense of hearing. The fact that he has killed someone is causing him to hallucinate. Another quote that uses imagery is used in the banquet scene. Macbeth sees Banquo's ghost in his chair. He says, "Thou canst not say I did it. Never shake thy glory locks at me"(49). Macbeth quivering with fear can be seen through this quote. Even though the ghost isn't real, Macbeth is being tortured so much by the thought of Banquo that his guilt is taking over his mind. A final example of imagery can be seen through this next quote. All of the murders have really taken a toll on Lady Macbeth. In Act V she is sleepwalking and revealing secrets about the murders. In this quote she says, "Yet who would have thought the old man to have so much blood in him?"(78). She is talking about Duncan's murder. The quote makes the reader relive Duncan's murder. Shakespeare does this to make the reader understand how terrible and bloody the murder was by talking about how much blood there was. Lady Macbeth fells so guilty that she is thinking about the murders while she sleeps. The theme of guilt consumes people can be also be seen in this play through the use of metaphors. After Macbeth kills the king he says this quote: "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand"(27). Macbeth means he wishes that he had never killed the king. Another metaphor used in this play, is used after Lady Macbeth died. Macbeth seemed to not care about his wife's suicide at...

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