Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed. William Shakespeare's Macbeth is partially a play about how guilt comes to the surface when someone has done something that they know is wrong.
Try it risk-free Have you ever intentionally done something bad, knowing you could get away with it? With the support of his wife, Lord Macbeth carries out a regicide, or murder of a royal figure, against King Duncan.
Macbeth is realizing that the toll of guilt makes the act of murder less simple.
In this scene, Macbeth is speaking with the doctor who has come to treat the psychosis of Lady Macbeth, who has succumbed to her heavy guilt and developed a mental illness.
Macbeth believes that there is not enough water in the ocean to clean that blood from his hands: Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand?
No, this my hand will rather The multitudinous seas in incarnadine, Making the green one red.
In this state, she attempts to clean Duncan's invisible blood off of her hands.
Lady Macbeth knows that both she and her husband have the power and position to get away with the murder saying, What need we Fear who knows it, when none can call our power to Account?
‘Invisible hand’ is a representation of hiding the thoughts and feelings of guilt. ’ Act 5 Scene 1 lines 32-37 Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking in Macbeth’s castle. She senses her own guilt and realises the mistakes she has made but is incapable of rubbing the blood off her hands.
‘Mine eyes are made the fools o’ the other senses, Or else worth all the rest: I see thee still; And on thy blade and dudgeon the gouts of blood, Which was not so before. ‘Blood hath been shed ere now, i’ the olden time, Ere human statute purg’d the gentle weal; Ay, and since too, murders have been perform’d Too terrible for the ear: the times have been, That, when the brains were out, the man would die, And there an end; but now they rise again, With twenty mortal murders on their crowns, And push us from our stools: this is more strange Than such a murder.’ Act 3 Scene 4 lines 75-83 Banquo’s bloody wounds make Macbeth feel guilty.