Find evidence to prove that Macbeth feels guilty for the murder of Macduff's family.

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kmj23 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What is really striking about the killing of Macduff's family is that Macbeth seems to feel very little guilt about it. When Macbeth kills Duncan, for instance, he is immediately overcome with guilt. He has hallucinations and wishes that Duncan would wake up from his eternal sleep. In contrast, when Macbeth sends his men to kill Macduff's wife and child, he does not experience any similar thoughts or feelings.

In fact, it is only in act 5, scene 8 that Macbeth expresses any feelings of guilt. Standing face to face with Macduff, he says:

My soul is too much charged

With blood of thine already.

In other words, Macbeth is saying that his soul is tainted by the murder of Macduff's family. It is clear that Macbeth feels some shame and guilt here because he tells Macduff to go away. He has no desire to further taint his soul with the blood of Macduff.