Macbeth's Ultimate Sin

1170 Words May 11th, 2013 5 Pages
Macbeth is a play about subterfuge and trickery. Macbeth, his wife, and the three Weird Sisters are linked in their mutual refusal to come out and say things directly. Instead, they rely on implications, riddles, and ambiguity to evade the truth. Macbeth’s ability to manipulate his language and his public image to hide his foul crimes makes him a very modern-seeming politician. As Bernard McElroy says in his literary criticism about Macbeth, “ When confronted with the possibility of committing a daring through criminal act, he willfully deceives himself for a short time and embraces an opposite view of the world...in the aftermath he’s committed to a world-view he does not believe.” Macbeth tricks himself into believing it is fine killing …show more content…
Lady Macbeth mimics this language when she directs her husband to look like an “innocent flower” in oder to hide the “serpent” that truly lurks in his heart(I.v.76-78). The Macbeths know how to use imagery and appearance to conceal the truth, and sometimes they even use those skills on themselves. Macbeth asks the stars, “Hide your fires/ Let not light see my black and deep desires/ The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be/ which the eye fears, when it is done, to see,” so that his eye cannot see what his hand does(I.iv.57-60). Similarly, Lady Macbeth asks the night, “Come, thick night/ And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell/ That my keen knife see not the wound it makes,” so that her knife cannot see itself slash its victim(I.v.57-59). The Macbeths know that their acts are wicked, so they try to hide the knowledge of their deeds from their own consciousness. Again Bernard McElroy states Macbeth’s crime, "Destroys his capacity to respect or even tolerate himself...his own hands are unrecognizable to him, savage, hangman 's hands that would pluck out his eyes. But, in fact, they do not obliterate his vision; he must continue staring at them," and in time he loses his mind from the guilt. Macbeth changes who he was, from the pressure his wife put on him and after the crime, not only does he feel guilt, but Lady Macbeth and they began distancing. In a sense, they wish to equivocate
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