Horror Scenes in Shakespeare: “Out, damned spot!” The Blood on Lady Macbeth’s Hands

There is no doubt that a guilty conscience can really do a number on one’s wellbeing and mental health.

This post from Shakespeare Nerd’s ‘Horror Scenes in Shakespeare” series features the psychological horror of Lady Macbeth’s guilty conscience and the profound effect it would have had on the superstitious audiences of Shakespeare’s time.

I hope you enjoy this Halloween week post.

Shakespeare Nerd

The horror of Act 5, Scene 1 of Macbeth is subtle, but very real. While there is no real blood on the stage, there is definitely blood on Lady Macbeth’s hands. 

After belittling Macbeth more than once for being haunted by visions and ghosts, the same thing happens to Lady Macbeth – or Lady Macdeath, as I like to call her. She is spared such public humiliation, though – her suffering is is revealed in the privacy of her own rooms,witnessed only by her servant and a doctor. This enables the audience to witness theintensely personal and intimate nature of the psychologicalhorror experienced by Lady Macbeth.

In the chaos of her behaviour, the audience sees the extent of Lady Macbeth’s mental torment: she is plagued by guilt and losing her grip on reality. She walks and talks in her sleep, carrying a candle because she…

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