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Theme Of Guilt In Macbeth

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The word “hand” correlates with the theme of guilt throughout the play. After the murder of King Duncan, both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are overwhelmed with guilt. The first example of guilt through “hand” is when Macbeth begins to hallucinate before he is signaled to go kill Duncan. Macbeth says “Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand?”(2.1.44-45). Macbeth reaches for the dagger with his hand in the same which he motioned when killing the king. After the murder, Lady Macbeth urges Macbeth to wash his hands of the killing. Lady Macbeth says “Go get some water and wash this filthy witness from your hand.”(2.2.60-61). Macbeth is paranoid about the noise he hears in the second chamber, but Lady Macbeth assures him it was nothing and he needs to go wash his hands to clear his mind of the act he committed, and erase the guilt. Macbeth replies to …show more content…
Lady Macbeth says she would be ashamed to have a heart as white as Macbeth’s, because a person with a white heart is cowardly. Lady Macbeth says “A little water clears us of this deed”, not knowing how long it will actually take for the guilt to vanish. In Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene, we see the guilt fully confessed. Lady Macbeth when sleepwalking begins by rubbing her hands together as if she is washing them. In Act five, scene one Lady Macbeth says “Yet here’s a spot” referring to blood that she cannot remove from her hand. Lady Macbeth being able to closely see the blood on her own hands assured her of her own guilt. The play ends with Malcolm reading out Lady Macbeth’s penalty for being an accomplice in the murder of Duncan. Malcolm says “Who, as ‘tis thought, by self and violent hands, took her life.”(5.8.83-84). Lady Macbeth’s guilt was so heavy that with her own violent hands she committed suicide. The word “hand” represents the major theme of guilt that prevails itself throughout the whole

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