Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and Remorse

“And pity, like a naked newborn babe, striding the blast…shall blow the horrid deed in every eye that tears shall drown the wind.” Contrast this statement by Macbeth with the following by Lady Macbeth: “I have given suck, and know how tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me; I would while it was smiling in my face, have pluck’d my nipple from his boneless gums, and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this.” Lady Macbeth, before the regicide, seems devoid of remorse,”fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty.” Macbeth, on the other hand, seems to be brimming with it. He compares the empathy to be felt at the sight of a helpless infant caught in a blast to the murder of the virtuous and soft-spoken King Duncan. After the bloody deed, plagued with guilt and a paranoid conscience, Macbeth loses this remorse and becomes a full-blown tyrant, whereas Lady Macbeth can’t cope with what has transpired and becomes the nonpareil of remorseful pathos as she ends her own life. Her evilness made Macbeth’s “milk of human kindness” curdle into a most foul and sour mush which spoils the whole luncheon (so to speak).

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