What is the dramatic significance of Act 5 Scene 1 in Macbeth? Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Expert Answers info

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In Shakespeare's Macbeth, Act V, Scene I, the theme of guilt and the motif of blood is furthered by the delusional Lady Macbeth's famous lines,

Out, damned spot! Out, I say! One: two: why, then 'tis time to do 't.  Hell is murky.  ...What need we fear who know it, when none can call our pow'r to accompt?  yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him? (5.1.31-35)

Her guilt and mounting madness are clearly evident in this passage as Lady Macbeth becomes obsessed with her imagined blood-stained upon her hand; "Hell is murky" suggests that Lady Macbeth has already seen hell. Even the gentlewoman remarks, "She has spoke what she should not" (5.1.41). Also, it may be a reflection of her increasing insanity as she does not speak in verse as it is most unusual for a major character in a Shakespearean play to speak in something...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 466 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

lynnebh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write1,203 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial