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Macbeth Guilt & Conscience

Macbeth Guilt & Conscience Prezi for the Seminar
by

marc cayen

on 11 May 2011

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Transcript of Macbeth Guilt & Conscience

Macbeth! Guilt & Conscience By Cassidy and Marc The theme of guilt & conscience is strongly developed in the play by it's main characters, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, as well as through the vivid use of imagery. Through-out the play it is noticed that the theme of guilt and conscience mostly affects the topics: Dramatic irony, imagery, plot development, and character development. What is Guilt & Conscience? Guilt is an emotional experience that occurs when a person believes that they have violated their morals. Conscience is that which distinguishes right from wrong. It is often described as that which leads to feelings of guilt when a human commits actions that go agaist his/her moral values, and to feelings of integrity when actions conform to those morals. Character Development: Main Characters Macbeth Shakespeare creatively uses the main character of Macbeth (Macbeth) to create the theme of guilt and conscience throughout the play. At the beginning of the play Macbeth is displayed as and understood to be a loyal, strong, valiant character, as the play progresses his character begins to change for the worse. He is corrupted into committing and planning murders so he can achieve and keep the position of King of Scotland. Once he murders King Duncan guilt and conscience immediately kicks in, and weakens his character. His guilt from committing evil deeds begins to eat away at Macbeth, and eventually he begins to see “false creations”- dagger speech, or allusions that make him believe he is going crazy. Lady Macbeth Although Lady Macbeth’s character starts off strong and determined in the play, her guilt and conscience eventually gets to her and she suffers great consequences. Through-out the play Lady Macbeth is seen as the character who is the one without a very guilty conscience because she is always telling Macbeth that the past cannot be undone and not to dwell on it because the guilt will drive him crazy. When her characters personality is altered completely and weakens near the end of the play, what she had said to Macbeth becomes very ironic because Lady Macbeth ends up dead because, of her guilt and conscience (she becomes insane). Plot Development In the Shakespearean tragedy, Macbeth, the theme guilt and conscience plays a huge role in plot development. As the main character Macbeth begins to commit evil deeds his conscience is immediately infested with guilt. His guilty mind begins to experience the presence of false images that make him believe he is going crazy (dagger, ghost, and 3 spirits). Although Macbeth questions if the images are real or not he still allows them to get inside his head and manipulate his thoughts, changing his mind about many things and almost forcing him to commit other unnecessary acts, such as killing Macduff’s family. Also guilt and conscience is huge near the end of the play when Lady Macbeth (main character) dies because of it. Lady Macbeth’s conscience was so full of guilt it had altered her personality completely and leads her to becoming insane. Dramatic Irony Lady Macbeth begins as a strong character with very little guilt, and she tries to convince Macbeth that having a guilty conscience is pointless because what’s done is done, and not to dwell on the past because it cannot be changed and it will only make him go crazy. Near the end of the play this becomes extremely ironic because Lady Macbeth’s Guilty Conscience literally becomes the death of her. General idea of how guilt and conscience affect the entire play Imagery Lady Macbeth faints when she hears about Duncan’s murder. This may be a trick in order to fool the others, or she may be feeling guilty about the crime that she and her husband have committed. In both scenarios, this action is either a realization of guilt or a disguise of it. The theme of guilt and conscience is used to a great extent in the play Macbeth. It was used to change character development, plot development, create dramatic irony, and gave reason for some imagery throughout the play. This theme had influenced the direction of the play immensely and had a huge effect on the main characters, and eventually leads to their death. Questions Who do you think suffers more from their guilt? (Macbeth or Lady Macbeth) Why? Answer (what I think)
Lady Macbeth suffers from guilt more then Macbeth, not only because of her own guilt of murdering Duncan, but from the weight of Macbeth's guilt. Lady Macbeth seems to carry some of her husbands guilt because of the way she manipulates her husband into commiting murder. Is Macbeth Guilty, or is he a Victim? Answer
I think he is guilty. He is responsible for his own actions regardless of whatever other people do.
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