Belief Systems in Macbeth

1619 Words Aug 5th, 2013 7 Pages
Belief systems play an important role in the lives of humans as they govern a person’s thoughts, words and actions and often reflect the predominant values of a specific period in time. In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, three different belief systems are present: belief of the Supernatural, the Great Chain of Being and Divine Justice. Belief in the Supernatural is the belief that factors such as fate, astrology and nature determine the path of a person’s life and may become self-fulfilling prophesies. The Great Chain of Being is the belief in hierarchical systems that once disrupted will result in chaos. Lastly, Divine Justice is the belief that all actions will be reciprocated, either though punishment or reward. Each of these systems share …show more content…
Her guilt is evident when she is sleepwalking and says, “Here’s the smell of the blood still. All\ the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little\ hand.” (5.1.50-52) Shortly after, during the attack on Macbeth to claim the throne for Malcolm, Macbeth hears a woman’s scream and questions, “Wherefore was that cry?”, Seyton responds, “The Queen, my lord, is dead.” (5.5.15-16) Lady Macbeth kills King Duncan, and this reveals that while she does capture the throne, her days as the sovereign queen are short-lived. The disruption continues when Macbeth follows through with his wife’s plans and kills the King of Scotland. He says to Lady Macbeth, “I have done the deed.” (2.2.15) Unbeknownst to Macbeth, the witches placed a spell on him preventing him from being able to sleep if he killed the king.
Sleep shall neither night nor day Hang upon his penthouse lid. He shall live a man forbid. Weary sev’nnights nine times nine Shall he dwindle, peak and pine. (1.3.19-23)
Unable to sleep, Macbeth is unable to function properly, and starts to see the ghost of Banquo, who he had just had murdered by assassins. Avaunt, and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee! Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold; Thou hast no speculation in those eyes Which thou dost glare with! (3.4.94-97)
This suggests that Macbeth is feeling guilty for killing his friend and suffers mentally as a result. The disruption of

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