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I need help with Lady Macbeth guilt quotes from Macbeth.  Can anyone name me 10 and...

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trex23 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 7, 2010 at 7:10 AM via web

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I need help with Lady Macbeth guilt quotes from Macbeth.  Can anyone name me 10 and their significance?

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amswain1 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted December 7, 2010 at 7:50 AM (Answer #1)

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Shakespeare uses several symbols in Macbeth to indicate either the guilt or innocence of a character. The major symbols of guilt are blood and sleep. When a character has blood on their hands this is an indication of their guilt. The blood can either be literal (actually there) or figurative (imagined or implied). Also, when a character is unable to sleep, the audience can assume they are guilty of something. Shakespeare uses sleep as a reward for the innocent. Think about it, it’s hard to sleep when you are bothered by something. You keep thinking about it!

If you will think back to Act V, when Lady Macbeth is sleep walking and imagining the blood on her hands, this is twice a symbol of her guilt. She is not actually sleeping ( a reward for the innocent), and she is struggling to wash blood (a symbol of guilt) off her hands.  If you examine the text and look for images dealing with blood and sleep, you will soon be able to collect your quotes addressing her guilt.

 

Good Luck!

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