Analysis of “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare Essay Example
Analysis of “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare Essay Example

Analysis of “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare Essay Example

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  • Pages: 5 (1118 words)
  • Published: January 19, 2022
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Macbeth by William Shakespeare serves as a tragic play where guilt comes to haunt someone. In the play, the playwright portrays how guilt haunts a person after engaging in an action that they possess adequate understanding as wrong. Supported by his wife, Lady Macbeth, Lord Macbeth engages in a murder of his royal figure King Duncan. After committing murder, Macbeth is continually disturbed by his action and tries to process his guilt for having committed the action. Throughout the play, Shakespeare makes effective use of language, dramatic as well as structural techniques in creating meaning regarding the effect of guilt to the main character, Macbeth.

At the initial stages of the play, the playwright portrays Macbeth as a honest, noble and trusted soldier, but his character changes after he meets the three witches that prophesies to him. It is


these prophecies that consistently change his perception regarding life and turns him into a dishonest, greedy tyrant full of himself. His wife Lady Macbeth equally contributes to the change of Lord Macbeth’s behavior and the playwright builds the play based on the changed character.

Immediately after Macbeth kills Duncan, his senses become heightened leading to paranoid about the possibility of being caught. The use of paranoia by the playwright captures both his effective use of language and structural techniques in revealing the guilt of Macbeth to the audiences. The paranoid nature of the protagonist is evidenced by the fact that he jumps after hearing every noise. In Act 2 Scene 2, Macbeth is captured in a soliloquy where he questions, “How is it with me, when every noise frightens me? Furthermore, after Macbeth looks at his bloody hands

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after he murders King Duncan, he has a wish of taking away the eyes that evidenced his crime. The use of Duncan blood on the part of the playwright serves as a symbolic representation of Macbeth’s guilt. The use of metaphors is further depicted on the part of the protagonist as he compares his guilt for killing King Duncan to the blood on his hands. Macbeth wonders whether there is a possibility that a great Neptune ocean will wash the blood in his hands. He also concludes that his hands will never become clean from the blood where he asserts that the blood may turn the green waters of the ocean red signifying that the guilt emanating from his murderous act will ever remain in his life.

The guilt on part of Macbeth is further portrayed by Shakespeare in Banquo’s ghost where the playwright’s choice of language and other stylistic devices help in informing the audience about the guilt of Macbeth. It is still that same guilt that continues to haunt Macbeth, culminating to his tragic demise. Although Macbeth was a respected and noble soldier signifying that he hand engaged in various wars in defense of his community where he must have killed his foes, the situation is different with the murder of King Duncan. When the three witches appear to Macbeth, they predict that Banquo sons would become king, a message that they equally give to Lady Macbeth. In order to prevent Banquo’s sons from becoming kings, Macbeth murders King Duncan, his friend and equally a former ally. Unlike the killings committed in the battlefield, the extra load of guilt makes Macbeth see the ghost

of Banquo in a feast. Despite his revelation that he had killed other people under different circumstances as opposed to the situation where he murdered King Duncan, Macbeth is driven to panic and reflects on how changes have occurred regarding the consequences of murder. Macbeth reveals his initial belief that killing a person was easy. In revealing that, Macbeth asserts that, “there was a time when the brains of a person were out, that person would die and that signified his end.” in the quote, Macbeth portrays that killing an enemy occurred quickly and then one would move on with his life. However, Macbeth perceives the situation as much different after killingKing Duncan as he is consistently tormented by his actions. He holds a belief that even where a person has sufficient proof that the victim has completely died physically, the victim is still within as he continually keeps haunting the one that killed him or her. Macbeth moves further to portray the way killing a person has changed where he asserts that, “they now rise again with their crowns with twenty mortal murders and push us from our stools.” The statement portrays that Macbeth is haunted by ghosts where such an action signifies the psychological wounds of guilt that he possesses will remain with him. Macbeth attributes the wounds that a person experiences after killing a fellow human being as stranger than the murderer. As such, the playwright uses ghosts as a symbolic representation of guilt on the part of Macbeth and how the guilt in him will continually torment him.

Again, the dramatic and structural techniques used by Shakespeare helps in revealing guilt on

the part of Macbeth not only to the audience, but equally to Macbeth. Before his tragic death, Macbeth is fully aware that he has come to a time where he is paying the price of his guilt. The dramatic incidents presented by Shakespeare introduce Macbeth to a realization that he is facing his guilt. That happens in the last scene where Macbeth meets Macduff, his nemesis where the incident becomes the final part of Macbeth to meet his guilt. At the scene, Macbeth is portrayed to believe in the prophecy of the witches that no person born by a woman shall harm Macbeth. As a result, Macbeth warns Macduffto stay away from him as a show of sign that no man has the powers and capacity to kill him. Macbethasserts that his soul is charged with too much blood of thine by the time Macduff begins to get closer to him. By asserting that his soul is full of too much blood of thine, Macbeth is referencing the brutal killing he conducted to Macduff’s wife together with children. The revelation by Macduff to Macbeth that he came from his mother’s womb untimely ripped makes Macbeth realize that his time has come to pay for the crimes he had committed. It is equally important noting the use of witches by Shakespeare throughout the play as symbolic representation of evil. Macbeth and his wife are tricked by the three witches about the sons of Banquo becoming king prompting him to plan how to murder King Duncan with Lady Macbeth equally assisting in the plan. It is the same witches that convince Macbeth that no man had powers

to kill him until he meets his nemesis, Macduff.

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