What is Macbeth's reaction to Duncan's murder? How does Macbeth feel after Duncan's death?  

Macbeth's reaction to Duncan's murder is to feel guilt, remorse, regret, to express his guilty conscience, to refuse to enter Duncan's chamber, to struggle to compose himself and finish the deed, to experience hallucinations, and to ultimately feign innocence through a display of emotion at the murder.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Macbeth is completely overwhelmed with guilt, remorse, and regret after he commits regicide. In act 2, scene 2, Macbeth exits Duncan's chamber and is visibly shaken by his actions. Macbeth reveals his guilty conscience and remorse by looking at his bloody hands and saying, "This is a sorry sight" (Shakespeare, 2.2.20). He continues to illustrate his guilty conscience by asking Lady Macbeth why he could not say "Amen" in Duncan's chamber and experiences auditory hallucinations when he tells his wife that he thought he heard Duncan's chamberlains saying,

Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep (Shakespeare, 2.2.36).

Lady Macbeth does her best to calm her husband's nerves by instructing him to wash his bloody hands and dismiss his unsettling thoughts. Macbeth once again reveals his horror and regret by refusing to enter Duncan's chamber to place the daggers by the deceased chamberlains. Once Macduff begins knocking on the door, Macbeth remarks that he is scared of every sound and reveals his...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 977 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on