Lady Macbeth’s Conscience

“Make thick my blood…that no compunctious visitings of nature shake my fell purpose.” The definition of compunction (on dictionary.com) reads: a feeling of uneasiness or anxiety of the conscience, caused by regret for doing wrong or causing pain. She anticipates the uneasiness to be felt at carrying out the deed to be done, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When Macbeth comes back from Duncan’s chamber she fears that the murder may not have been done and she comments, “Had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done’t. We begin to see the first signs of conscience setting in on Lady Macbeth here. She’s already said she would dash out the brains of her own child. Why does she care if the King resembles her father? Didn’t we just hear her request to “stop up the access and passage to remorse.” This father-resemblance statement is obvious foreshadowing that Lady Macbeth isn’t immune to the adulteration of her conscience and may be feeling guilty since perhaps King Duncan was around the same age as her own father. Lady Macbeth will become seriously conscience-stricken, and if we were paying attention, we already knew that.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s