Macbeth Themes - Sin
What do we learn about sin in this extract? Macbeth is considering committing the sin of murder. For a sin to be serious or mortal the person must know clearly what he is doing and do it freely. Macbeth knows full well that what he proposes is wrong, and outlines several good reasons as to why he shouldn't do it - Duncan is his King and a good king at that; Duncan is his cousin; Duncan is his guest. So we could say that Macbeth has a finely tuned conscience. But interestingly the first reason he gives is self centred - he might get caught! Not exactly moral maturity. In this extract he convinces himself not to go through with the murder, but is later persuaded or bullied by his wife into changing his mind. It is important for Shakespeare that Macbeth does his evil deed freely - there is persuasion, bullying, pressure, but he could have chosen not to do it.

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