The Role of Shame and Guilt

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Argumentative essay on The Role of Shame and Guilt in William Shakespeare’s Othello and Macbeth. Needs to be 5 pages. With respect to Shakespeare’s drama Macbeth, Macbeth is a successful general who through a series of treacherous acts would later ascend to the medieval Scottish throne. In an effort to claim the Scottish throne and prevent some undesirable prophesies from witches, Macbeth and his wife Lady Macbeth organized a series of murders and assassinations targeting King Duncan and his probable heirs (Shakespeare 52). Out of guilt and shame attributed to the treacherous acts, both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are haunted by troubled consciences, initiating their fateful endings. Admittedly, the emotive forces of shame and guilt played similar roles in directing Othello, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to their early graves.Prior to analyzing the roles of shame and guilt in influencing the characters’ thoughts and behavioral responses, it is worth developing a comprehensive appreciation of shame and guilt, especially from theoretical perspectives. Despite being used interchangeably, shame and guilt have slightly distinct meanings. Guilt is the general unpleasantness resulting from having done something morally wrong. Actions that trigger guilt are often forgivable. hence guilty persons can overcome their unpleasant feelings by simply correct their behaviors (Wagner 49). On the other hand, shame is an internal emotion that persons experience whenever they feel that they are deeply flawed and unworthy of love and social inclusion. Shame usually emerges whenever a guilt-related action has been discovered by other members of the society. After discovery of their wrongful deeds, guilty persons develop inescapable feelings of disgrace in the eyes of others. Often, such disgraceful perceptions from others cannot be easily dispelled because of the weight of an underlying wrongful deed (Wagner 51). In response, shameful persons become anxious and depressed, leading to behaviors like social

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