Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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In what ways is Macbeth a psychological study of guilt? Give supporting evidence from the text.

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Macbeth--a man who earns respect because he distinguishes himself through his heroic deeds, proves to have a moral conscience, but unfortunately possesses a character flaw--ambition--that destroys him and everyone close to him. 

The deep guilt Macbeth feels humanizes him and moves the audience.

Recall that Macbeth's noble character is established from the start.  A dark side of Macbeth is revealed, savagery even in the way he kills the opponent Macdonwald: "Till he unseamed him from the nave to th' chops, And fixed his head upon our battlements" (Macbeth 1.1).

As soon as Macbeth receives the new title as Thane of Cawdor from king Duncan, his ambition is inflamed. However, he still knows the line between right and wrong and is firmly standing on the side of good. 

At the very first thought of removing king Duncan from the throne so that he could be king, Macbeth feels terrified and ashamed. "Stars, hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires" (Macbeth 1.4)  He is ashamed...

(The entire section contains 525 words.)

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