Essay by smurfieHigh School, 10th gradeA, April 2014

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Maya Aslam


Block H

March 22, 2014

Guilt takes over

Guilt is the heavy feeling in a person's heart when they commit a crime such as stealing candy or a life. It is the feeling of having done wrong or failing in obligation. Guilt causes the degradation of the soul and human mind, and can be reflected through symbolism, imagery and motifs in the plays Macbeth by William Shakespeare and Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

An individual's mental state in a text is shown by the symbols they reference. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's guilt is lodged in their conscience, and is revealed by the constant symbol of blood and washing their hands. When Macbeth says, "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand?"(II.ii.78-79 Shakepeare), it is a reference to how his guilt permanently stained his character. The ocean is a hyperbole that demonstrates that the stain cannot fade.

Also, water symbolizes purity meaning Duncan's murder makes Macbeth impure. On a more physical note, Lady Macbeth's suicide represents how her guilt overcame her. Her hallucinations of Duncan's blood proved too much for her. The reversal of gender roles presents itself, as Lady Macbeth was a man-like figure with bold features that progressed to a frail woman-like figure. This proves that guilt degrades your health to the point where you become an insomniac or lose sense of reality. In a modern world, the blue kite is a symbol in The Kite Runner. It brings Amir closer to Baba because Baba was a champion kite fighter but it symbolizes his inner guilt as he let Hassan get raped to receive the blue kite and Baba's love. Amir defines himself by guilt when he says, "I became what I am today at the age of twelve"(Hosseini 1).