Throughout the play as Macbeth wades out into the river of blood that he has created, with each death he is responsible for, he distances himself from her more and more. He does this to protect her, but instead it has the effect of isolating her. Sending her further and further into her own counsel, which drives her insane. Unable to cope with all that she has done and is responsible for. Her dreams are plagued by guilt. She has not place to escape from herself or her mind so she does the only thing she can, kills herself. The ultimate act to escape herself, and the reality she has made for herself.
After Banquo is murdered, she retreats more and more and we no longer see her as part of a couple but as a separate entity. Fighting to cope, and realising that she had been naive to believe ‘a little water shall wash us of this deed’ when she proclaims in utmost horror ‘out damn spot! out I say! ” when in her minds eye the guilt can never be removed from her hands.
Macbeth begins to rely on knowledge and the security supplied him by the witches words. It is they who he seeks for advice and answers in the play, and with the answers he receives relies upon himself as the invincible entity. no one born of woman shall harm Macbeth’… Towards the end of the play Lady Macbeth is overcome by guilt and becomes patently mad. She hallucinates ‘out damned spot! Out, I say! ‘ Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking and is speaking to herself; she can see blood and tries to wash it off but nothing will make the blood disappear. I think the blood represents the guilt she feels because of the realisation of her plot to kill King Duncan. Macbeth is still trying to come to terms with his relentless remorse because of his involvement in the killings of King Duncan, Banquo, Lady Macduff and her children.
Macbeth doesn’t see Lady Macbeth’s suffering. Lady Macbeth does, however see Macbeth’s emotional anguish when they are holding a party. Macbeth sees an apparition of Banquo, his trusty and loyal friend who he ordered to be killed. Macbeth starts to rave at Banquo’s apparent ghost ‘Prithee, see there! Behold, look, lo! How say you! ‘ Lady Macbeth then tries to excuse her husband’s behaviour to all the guests, ‘think of this, good peers, but as thing of custom. ‘Tis no other, it only spoils the pleasure of the time.
Lady Macbeth is not necessarily worried about Macbeth and his mental state because of her love for him, she is merely worried about her husband exposing the secret that only her and Macbeth know about, killing King Duncan. After Macbeth’s outburst she shows feelings of embarrassment and being ashamed of her husband’s behaviour as he was showing that he was weak and not worthy of becoming King. ‘You have displaced the mirth, broke the good meeting with most admired disorder’. This comment was to humiliate Macbeth and make him feel ashamed and guilty of his lack of self.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 1 November 2016
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