Macbeth & Schizophrenia

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Macbeth's tragic downfall into insanity could be diagnosed as the mental disorder schizophrenia. Many of Macbeth’s actions during the play can make the reader to believe that Macbeth is crazy. However, by today's medical standards, Macbeth falls into several of the categories under the diagnosis of schizophrenia.This is a severe brain disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior. Even though Macbeth shows various characteristics of other mental disorders, the symptoms he presents of schizophrenia are dominant in comparison. It is not known what causes schizophrenia, but researchers believe that a combination of genetics and environment contributes to the development of the disorder. In Macbeth’s case, his environment was most likely the start of his schizophrenia. Another factor that lead to Macbeth’s disease would be the guilt, in trying to become king, he murdered people that he knew well and was loyal to. He did not want to kill Banquo, but he felt he had to in order to become king. He said to his wife “We will proceed no further in this business: He hath honored me of late.” We later begin to see a shift in Macbeth. He begins to become more and more violent. The risk of violence among people with schizophrenia is small. But most studies confirm the association between violence and schizophrenia. Different approaches have been used to examine the association between schizophrenia and violence. These studies include estimating the prevalence of violent acts in those with schizophrenia and schizophrenia in individuals who have committed violent acts. Schizophrenics may believe other people are ... ... middle of paper ... ... Macbeth’s schizophrenia could have been prevented if he had just let the witches predictions play out as they were supposed to. If greed had not taken over, Macbeth might have been king years down the road. There isn’t much one can do to prevent schizophrenia except knowing family history and being cautious of your environment and stress levels which can trigger the schizophrenia if it is already in your genes. The cure for disorders such as schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder, in the days of Shakespeare, would be to see a priest and to cure yourself. If Lady Macbeth had enough determination not to give in to her mental illness she may have been able to save her marriage and her husband. Macbeth’s downfall was caused solely by unstable mental condition and wanting to keep his position in power which led to a full-blown case of paranoia schizophrenia.

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