24th October 2018

Exam preparation

Conflict, both internal and external, in Macbeth helps us understand the main messages of the play. The conflict that Lady Macbeth has internally is with guilt. This feeling of guilt has come from her ambition to have power which she uses and abuses to her full extent. The consequences of her ambition is the internal and external battle of guilt. Lady Macbeth’s guilt is about the killing of King Duncan. The guilt about the murder has not only taken over her life when she’s awake but when she is sleeping too. This causes Lady Macbeth to walk around the house rubbing her hands together. We can see that the guilt has got to her through this quote “out damn spot out, out I say, one two, why then tis time to do it, hell is murky fie my lord fie! a soldier and afeard, what need we fear who knows it when none can call our power to account.” Lady Macbeth is trying to convince herself that she never did anything wrong and is also try to tell herself that no one will find out, because of her and her husband’s power. The lines “out damn spot, out, out I say”, is talking about the blood that she can still see on her hands from the murder of King Duncan. This is still an internal battle because its her mind telling her that the blood is still there. Blood is used as a symbol in the play. It is used for guilt and murder. So from this symbol, we can get an idea that Lady Macbeth is trying to rub off the guilt from the murder. An external battle with guilt is when she kills herself. This is an physical action due to the conflict with guilt. Lady Macbeth’s guilt conflict over killing King Duncan is won by the external battle, but the winning of the external battle was because her internal conflict with guilt pushed her over the edge. We are shown the main message of the play that conflict internally and externally can sometimes lead to destruction of you as a person. The conflict that Lady Macbeth has with herself is about desire for power and the steps that she takes to get her ambition. When she firsts kills King Duncan she has no problem with it, like the power that she is given after he dies was what she deserved, but as time went on the feeling of guilt washes throughout her body, and then she goes into the conflict of the feeling of guilt from the murder and her ambition for power. The more time that passes by the more feeling of guilt becomes stronger and leads her to her death.

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  1. This is GREAT! I’ll explain why when I see you on Friday.


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