Insanity is defined as “[the] inability to understand the nature and consequences of one's acts or of events, matters, or proceedings in which one is involved.” In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the protagonist turned antagonist, Macbeth, was once “valour’s minion” (I.ii.16) a loyal and devoted nobleman of Scotland. However, he commits a heinous act of regicide in order to ascend the throne, only to become a tyrant who in the end was regarded as nothing but a “dead butcher” (V.ix.35). Macbeth was unarguably sane in the beginning of the play, however, at the end of the play its unclear whether or not Macbeth truly was a “deranged blood hound” (V.ii.32), or if he was still acting on his own accord. Critics may say that this “Bloody sceptered tyrant” (IV.iii.95), who murdered innocent people indiscriminately through the novel befell the holds of insanity, but in truth, Macbeth, whether for better or for worse, never was truly driven insane. An attribute of insanity was previously defined as the inability to understand the consequences of one’s acts or events around one, which furthers the argument that Macbeth was sane. When Macbeth, due to his insecurity of his position as king starts eliminating his enemies, he does display a certain degree of incomprehension towards the consequences of his actions, saying “the very firstlings of my heart shall be/The firstlings of my hand” (IV.i.157-158). However, the very fact that he says he will not take into account what he thinks (such as the consequences of his actions), shows that he indeed does still have the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, hence he is not insane. Towards the end of the book is where Macbeth’s sanity is questioned most. One such question arises up... ... middle of paper ... ... towards Macduff, this not only shows Macbeth’s guilt at having committed such a horrible crime towards Macduff, but also has an inkling of a conscience. From Macbeth’s comprehension of the events taking place around him to his repentance to his conscience, its unarguable that Macbeth at the end of the play was insane. From the beginning, Macbeth fabricates his own demise, eventually going on to control his fate right up till his ruinous end. Once a good, and loyal noble man of Scotland, Macbeth, was driven to by whatever motivation to commit acts of such malice, such cowardice and of such malevolence that it’s an insult to the memory of those whose lives were taken by him, to classify him as merely a ‘deranged hell hound’. Works Cited Shakespeare, William. Tragedy of Macbeth . Ed. Barbara Mowat and Paul Warstine. New York: Washington Press, 1992.
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Mental illness is a serious societal problem today, and has been for a long time. People who have a mental illness often end up hurting other people mentally and physically. When someone has a mental illness, they might also end up hurting themselves or cause suffering for themselves. Also, it is sometimes difficult for them to understand things clearly, and they might be unsure of things in their life. All of these problems are shown in a person who is mentally ill. Macbeth hears his prophecy from three witches which starts his mental illness, along with Lady Macbeth pressuring him to kill the king. After Macbeth kills the king, things start to get out of hand; Macbeth gets over ambitious and wants to kill more people, whatever it takes. Lady Macbeth asks for her womanhood to be taken so that she will not feel guilty, but ends up feeling more guilty than ever. Subsequently, she kills herself to escape the guilt, and causes her husband great pain. These tragic examples and many others show that mental illness is a societal issue, and it is shown throughout the story of Macbeth.
William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth is intense and horrifying, with Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, planning to kill the king so that Macbeth can take his position. Lady Macbeth is the master mind behind all of this. She is in his ear telling him what to do and how to do it. Under all of this pressure from his wife, Macbeth starts to go insane. In the play, Macbeth shows symptoms of bipolar disorder due to his lack of sleep, agitation, and activeness.
Macbeth, one of the darkest and most powerful plays written by Shakespeare, dramatizes the disastrous psychological effects that occur when evil is chosen to fulfill the ambition for power. Throughout the play, Macbeth’s character loses mental stability and becomes enthralled with the idea of being king. Empowered by the three witches, this situation consumes Macbeth’s consciousness until his mental state becomes deranged. This mental deterioration is evident in what he says and does as he evolves into a tyrannical ruler attempting to protect himself from enmity and suspicion. In an attempt to fulfill his ambition for power, Macbeth displays mental deterioration and becomes increasingly bloodthirsty.
Macbeth is about a Lord whose life is disturbed by three witches, whose prophesies results in Macbeth to commit actions that lead to his downfall. Macbeth demonstrates many mental abnormalities during the course of the play, such as delusions, hallucinations, paranoia and warped personality. Which are all symptoms of schizophrenia, which I argue Macbeth has, and the events that unfold lead his condition to worsen and his mental health deteriorate, causing his twisted actions. Macbeth may very will be a high functioning schizophrenic.
Schizophrenia is mental disorder that inhibits the abilities “to think clearly, to distinguish reality from fantasy, to manage emotions, make decisions, and relate to others” (Duckworth). One defining symptom of schizophrenia lies in recurring delusions of grandeur. The afflicted patient’s “beliefs are not based in reality and usually involve misinterpretation of perception or experience” (Mayo Clinic Staff). It could be argued that Macbeth suffers from delusions that he rightful king of Scotland. Unlike Banquo, Macbeth, in his fantasy-like state, takes the witches prophecy too strongly to heart and thus acts upon it. Additionally, when the witches foretell that “none of woman born/ Shall harm Macbeth” (4.1. 91-92), Macbeth succumbs to an unrealistic delusion of invincibility, which inevitably proves to be fatal. As with Macbeth, Lady Macbeth also appears to suffer these delusions with her husband as king of Scotland. She is the ...
An insane person is one that demonstrates foolish acts because of their poor mental state. In the beginning of Macbeth, Macbeth is characterized as a brave soldier. His bravery on the battlefield earned him the titles of Thane of Cawdor and Glamis. The play leads the reader to believe that Macbeth is sane, but when he receives prophesy from the witches that he will be king, an insane character emerges from within. Macbeth demonstrates these characteristics when he claims to see a floating dagger and an illusionary ghost and also becomes obsessed with the idea of killing others, and not being completely human. Macbeth displays the characteristics of an insane character because of his foolish acts and poor mental state when he visualizes the floating dagger, speaks to a ghost, becomes obsessed with killing others and with the idea of being invincible.
In conclusion, if Macbeth was more headstrong in his scruples and his honored his position with integrity, he would have never been persuaded to do any of the horrible things he did. Macbeth was not an obstinate man; he was compliant with everything and rarely questioned what was asked of him. It wasn’t a lack of wisdom necessarily, but a lack of judgment, which created his impressionable flaw that ultimately leads to his demise.
In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, the character Macbeth descends into madness. Macbeth’s descent into madness first started with the witch’s prediction. If he had never met the witches none of this trouble would have occurred.
.... His insanity was a result of ambition taken much too far, ambition mutated and converted into evil by internal as well as social conflict; Macbeth’s wife did nothing to prevent Macbeth’s sickness and actually helped the problem develop. From his ambition came actions that filled his mind with conflict, dread, suspicion and guilt. It could be said that Macbeth was insane from the beginning, from the moment that the witches appeared to him in the third scene of the play or even from when he carved out his bloody passage in battle. Whether Macbeth was insane his whole life or just from the moment he first saw the imaginary dagger, it is indisputable that his visions and hallucinations only helped to supplement his lunacy.
Shakespeare's Macbeth is a heroic tragedy that shows the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition for those who seek power for its own sake. These psychological effects can be seen in many characters, but are most clearly displayed in the main character Macbeth. Macbeth begins the play as a noble and stable character- a loyal husband, subject, and the Thane of Glamis. However, as Macbeth receives more power and becomes more ambitious, he loses his mental stability. Macbeth’s mind deteriorates from his strong ambition, his guilt of killing, and the paranoia that comes of power. You can also see Macbeth’s mind deteriorate by examining his visions, attitude toward fear and death, and how
This specific action consequently resulted in Macbeth’s level of morality to continually decline as he is acutely aware of his own tyranny. Therefore Macbeth attempts to forget the horrific deed he has committed and be the figure that orders and disorders. Our perception of Macbeth being a wise and loyal soldier is now eroded, as we start to view Macbeth constantly questioning his own actions, and is also impelled to perpetrate further atrocities with the intention of covering up his previous wrong-doings.
In Macbeth, Shakespeare confronts audiences with universal and powerful themes of ambition and evil along with its consequences. Shakespeare explores the powerful theme of the human mind’s decent into madness, audiences find this theme most confronting because of its universal relevance. His use of dramatic devices includes soliloquies, animal imagery, clear characterisation and dramatic language. Themes of ambition and mental instability are evident in Lady Macbeth’s reaction to Macbeth’s letter detailing the prophecies, Macbeth’s hallucinations of Banquo’s ghost and finally in the scene where Lady Macbeth is found sleep walking, tortured by her involvement.