Macbeth Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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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.

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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...

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bandana | Student

After murdering Duncan,Macbeth becomes aware of the sin he has committed and the goodness and peace he has lost for ever.He cannot say 'Amen' when he hears a prayer.He feels that Duncan has escaped all cares and worries of life which he is left to bear.He has to carry his cross.He contrasts Duncan's serene face with his own guilt laced visage silently and says,"There lies Duncan/After life's fitful fever he sleeps well."He is jealous that Duncan has escaped the fever and frets of life to death's dateless night where he will lie in eternal sleep.