Essay on Is Lady Macbeth Guilty

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Director Matt Edgerton writes ‘Great plays provoke us they disturb and confront us’. Macbeth continues to have relevance to audiences today because … of the universal themes that are still relevant today. Two of the biggest themes in the plays are the corrupting power of the unchecked ambition and guilt and remorse. Both can be found widely across our current generation and therefore makes it painfully obvious as to why Macbeth is still relevant to society as we know it. For example, Macbeth wanted to be King and a lot of people today would do anything for money and power. Ambition Is essential for Macbeth to become King just as ambition is essential for people these days to achieve goals and aspirations like starting a business. Guilt and remorse showcase basic human nature that is common no matter whether we are 5000 years into the future or back with the dinosaurs. It is unchanging and therefore makes Macbeth a crucial, relevant text to understand basic human nature. For example, Macbeth said “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incaranadine, making the green one red”. This quote shows that Macbeth feels guilt because he killed Duncan. This quote Is also significant because after Macbeth starts to feel guilty he loses his sanity and that causes him not to be a good King. We can apply this to modern day situations for instance, somebody managed to get a promotion at work and used that to be harmful to themselves and others by destroying the reputation of other employees at a company just because they have a higher position. Overall, it is extremely evident as to why we are deciding to stage a 400-year-old drama about a Scottish King in 21st century Australia. The universal themes of unchecked ambition and guilt and remorse display a greater meaning of human nature which we can all learn and take in valuable lessons about life, even if the play is some 400 years old.

The cover art for this program reflects the key themes our play has focused on which are the contrast between appearance and reality and loyalty and guilt. The aim of our cover art was to engage with our audiences through the visual aspects of it and provide a chance for some people to delve deep into and understand the symbolic meanings of it. The background of the cover art is a dark image of a pair of hands which are soaked in blood holding a crown, representing the monarchy for Macbeth. It sets the tone for not only the rest of the cover art but for the rest of the production and allows the audience to understand that this production is a darker, more graphic version of the Macbeth play. One of the major recurring imagery in Macbeth is blood and this is well represented through this background image as the hands are literally soaking in blood and the rest of the background is a solid red colour, with the crown being the centre piece of the cover art. The second thing you’ll notice about this cover art is that there are lots and lots of doves. This takes us into the first theme that this cover art is representing which is guilt and loyalty. One way you can represent guilt in a scenario like this is to take something innocent like a dove and show it corrupted or denied. For example, a black dove achieves this. All the black doves scattered around the cover art are symbolisms for guilt in the play, meanwhile all the regular, white doves are symbolisms for loyalty, so the opposite of the black doves. Additionally, the recurring imagery of blood in the play and this cover art is perfect as blood is the most commonly used symbol for guilt. Finally, to represent another theme of Macbeth which is the contrast between appearance and reality, this production uses a representation of Lady Macbeth in a red dress, standing by a mirror with a dagger behind her back, with a determined and mysterious look in her eyes. Meanwhile, in the mirror there is Lady Macbeth with a crown on her head. This quite clearly shows the contrast between appearance and reality as the appearance is that Lady Macbeth is nothing but Lady Macbeth, however she is really plotting to kill King Duncan and become Queen.

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As we prepared for this production, we decided to emphasise two of the key themes in Macbeth which are the contrast between appearance and reality and guilt and loyalty. At the beginning of the play, we are met with the infamous quote that is “Fair is foul, and foul is fair”. This line highlights the relationship between the appearance of something and the reality of its nature. This quote sets the compass for the rest of the play as in Macbeth, the connection between appearance and reality is paradoxical and what may appear one way in reality may not be that way at all. Considering this, we have decided to use actors that emit a real mystery through their energy and presence. Our Lady Macbeth is commanding figure but also intelligent enough to not present herself as one. In our production we will use blood as a recurring force that symbolises the guilt mainly on Macbeth’s part. We will make the scenes vivid and full of life in terms of the theme of guilt.  

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Essay on Is Lady Macbeth Guilty. (2024, May 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from
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