William ShakespeareS Macbeth Essay Research Paper William
William Shakespeare differentiated Macbeth’s and Lady Macbeth’s reactions towards the murder of Duncan in the tragic play Macbeth. The plotting of the homicide, the actual assassination, and the actions after the slaughter demonstrate these responses due to the murder. “First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, / Strong both against the deed; then, his host, / …/ Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan/ Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been/ So clear in his great office, that his virtues/ Will plead like angels,” This quote from Macbeth’s soliloquy explains his relationship with Duncan, and how he has no reason for killing the king. He understands his plan will eventually backfire. At the time of the murder, the quotes “Is this a dagger which I see before me / The handle toward my hand?”, and “Sleep no more! / Macbeth does murder sleep” represents Macbeth’s guilty conscience beginning to deteriorate inside. The floating dagger Macbeth sees before the murder illustrates Macbeth‘s disturbed mind. The voices he hears exhibits his suspicion that the sleepers see him listening to their shrieks of fear. Macbeth cries, “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood/ Clean from my hand? No. This my hand will rather/ The multitudinous seas incarnadine, / Making the green one red.”, while washing his hands. This shows that Macbeth’s paranoia overwhelms him when the blood seems permanently stained on his hands. Macbeth believes there is enough of Duncan’s blood on his hands to make the seas red. On the other hand, King Duncan’s assassination effects Lady Macbeth in a different manner. Lady Macbeth exclaims “That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here/…/ Make thick my blood; / Stop up the access and passage to remorse,“ when she learns of Duncan’s stay. At first Lady Macbeth calls upon the spirits to “unsex” her, making her susceptible to murder. She wishes not to have female emotions that will cause her to fault the murder. The quote “Had he not resembled/ My father as he slept, I had done’t.”, exhibits Lady Macbeth’s reason for not committing the murder herself. If Duncan had not looked like her father as he slept, Lady Macbeth would commit the murder. Next Lady Macbeth hears an owl, an omen of death, scream, which startles her after the murder is committed. As Lady Macbeth and Macbeth wash their hands, Lady Macbeth ‘s dialogue expresses her calm emotions. The quote “A little water clears us of this deed.”, expresses Lady Macbeth’s composed attitudes that they can wash away the guilt as if it were dirt. She is confident that the guilt is easily disregarded since the spirits were called upon. In conclusion, William Shakespeare distinguishes Macbeth’s and Lady Macbeth’s reactions of Duncan’s murder in the tragic play Macbeth with the plotting of the assassination, the actual murder, and the actions after the killing.