Essay Exam Questions Macbeth

Essay Exam Questions Macbeth-10
This is because “smell” is a paramount part of human function that allows us to configure and perform ordinary daily tasks, and to suggest that it is obstructed by a permanent and ongoing stench of “blood” suggests that it is further obstructing normal function from occurring because there is nothing to smell but “blood”.Therefore, perhaps because it has disrupted its normal function, it symbolises how it has permanently affected Lady Macbeth’s mind, not only is her speech and language interrupted, through her use of rhyme and doggerel “fife” and “wife”, but also she is losing her sense, and that it what makes her human.

In particular, the precise verb here “stuck” is effective in showing the guilt as it initiates that “Amen” is physically unable to come from his throat, despite his attempt to withdraw it from himself, implying that it is within him, and it cannot escape and perhaps therefore neither can the reasoning for what he has done.

Interestingly, the meaning of “Amen” deriving from the bible, is “so be it”, spoken in order to end a prayer and act as the messenger to God, therefore perhaps because he cannot utter “so be it”, Macbeth is unable to end, and ultimately send a prayer to God, the prayer of guilt is relentless and ongoing and cannot be ended because “Amen” is “stuck” in his “throat”.

Perhaps Shakespeare's underlying message here is that the guilt, the pain and therefore the lack of protection is relentless from now on and Macbeth will never again be the same.

This is contrasted in the Act prior to this, in Act 1 scene 7, when Macbeth is not hesitant to speak of “angels” or the adjective “cherubin”, and therefore the theme of guilt is not present because Macbeth does not feel the weight of these holy allusions, but uses them loosely which juxtaposes with the struggle to pass them in the following Act.

Her speech adapts throughout the tragedy, from Act 1 scene 5, when her speech is of a Great lady; her speeches are in blank verse and the strong rhythm of iambic pentameter declare her sense of purpose and confidence.

However, by act 5 scene 1 this seems to have deteriorated as she speaks in prose, which is choppy and abrupt, even descending to doggerel with the rhyme of “Fife” and “wife”.In this way, perhaps Shakespeare is implying that by committing the sin of regicide, the guilt that comes as a consequence is able to dehumanise a character completely, by not only erasing their speech, but senses and eventually their ability to think reason.The presence of guilt in Macbeth is wonderfully demonstrated through the use of biblical allusions throughout the play, which reveal how the murder of King Duncan affects the passage of religion and spirituality.Perhaps Shakespeare’s messages are that if a person sacrifices themselves to committing regicide, the consequences will be fatal, and tragic, alike Lady Macbeth’s, and this is after the unimaginable contempt of losing social status and natural function in the mind.Guilt is also established through the recurring motif of blood in the play, an example is the use of hyperbolic description in act 2 scene 2 “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand?This could imply that the blood is slowly deteriorating the world, as the guilt of committing regicide is slowly destroying Macbeth, as this is also the immediate scene in the aftermath of the murder, Macbeth almost instantaneously reacts to the murder with guilt, as if he feels no success or relief with it done as he perhaps thought he would, but is now faced with regret, and ultimately, increasing and relentless guilt.Furthermore, the use of the blood motif is also used in Act 5 scene 1, in which Lady Macbeth describes “Here’s the smell of blood still”, and establishes how Duncan’s regicide has rooted itself so far in guilt that ordinary senses cannot be performed.Therefore, for Lady Macbeth to have her speech deteriorate due to her consuming guilt, could imply that Shakespeare is demonstrating how it is also the destruction of her title and reputation.An instance of this can perhaps be seen in the way that Shakespeare presents the witches, with their ominous and unnerving use of rhyme “when the hurly burly’s done when the battles lost and won” that resembles an incantation, which is why a contemporary audience would find it unnerving.An instance of this is also in Act 2 Scene 2, when Macbeth utters the words “Amen stuck in my throat” .Macbeth’s inability to speak the word “Amen” here, illustrates his separation and lack of protection from God because he no longer feels the underlying christianity and warmth, due to the guilt.


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