Within the tragic play of Macbeth where the relentless pursuit for power and self destructive ambition consume the characters and an intriguing modern day interpretation emerges through the complex character Lady Macbeth. Consistently throughout Shakespeare's play Macbeth, Lady Macbeth exhibits behaviors that closely align with symptoms of mental health issues leading to an striking modern day perspective on the Shakspearean masterpiece. Ranging from episodes of manic highs to unpredictable mood swings and sleeping problems Lady Macbeth’s symptoms strongly resemble those with Bipolar disorder. Leading many to believe Lady Macbeth indeed suffers from Bipolar disorder. Throughout the play, Lady Macbeth exhibits many symptoms of having a mental …show more content…
While talking to Macbeth and trying to convince Macbeth to murder Duncan in order to become king, she out of nowhere changes her tone, “ I have suckled a baby, and I know how sweet it is to love the baby at my breast. But even as the baby was smiling up at me, I would have plucked my nipple out of its mouth and smashed its brains out against a wall…”(Shakespeare I.VII.55-60). Lady Macbeth’s quick change in tone from almost a guilt tripping nostalgia to a violent murdering one proves her unpredictability. It also goes to show the agitation Lady Macbeth exhibits, yet another symptom of Bipolar disorder. A final symptom Lady Macbeth shows of Bipolar disorder is sleep problems. Although not shown until the end of Macbeth, she exhibits problems that are seen as sleep talking, and walking with her eyes wide …show more content…
One being during the night the Doctor and the Gentlewoman stay up to prove Lady Macbeth is diseased with something that is making her sleep walk and talk. “(rubbing her hands) Come out, damned spot!”(Shakespeare V.I. 25). Lady Macbeth is clearly showing what is seen as a symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD), she is washing her hands because she is anxious and feeling guilty. However nowhere is it said that she is seen repetitively doing this, she also never mentions trying to wash her hands of guilt more than once, meaning it cannot be a proven symptom of OCD. Another thing she does in the play that can be seen as a symptom of OCD is urges or doubts. During the same scene in which she is caught “sleep walking”, Lady Macbeth has to remind herself that Banquo was killed, “Don’t look so frightened. I tell you again, Banquo is buried. He cannot come out of his grave.”(Shakespeare V.I. 43-45). She is having to remind herself that Banquo is dead to eliminate her fear and doubts. Although a clear symptom of OCD, it is reasonable to assume that her doubts are a result of her guilt and heightened by her lack of sleep. The sleep she is lacking due to her Bipolar
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While Macbeth changes in a negative direction and becomes more violent to get what he wants, Lady Macbeth appears to be doing the opposite, starting from having the desire to be filled with direst cruelty to trying to rub the spot out of her hand from Duncan’s murder even though she did not actually kill him. The first sign of her change was when she attempted to persuade Macbeth to not kill any more people after Duncan since he is now king, but Macbeth refused to tell her of his plans to kill Banquo. After Macbeth successfully sends people to kill Banquo, he sees Banquo’s ghost at the coronation feast which causes his guests to leave. Lady Macbeth responds by saying, “You lack the season of all natures, sleep” (III, 4). Her solution to Macbeth’s madness was sleep, which temporarily fixes the situation and causes him to think rationally by going to talk to the witches the next day to figure out what is going on and what will happen in the future.
In Act 2, Scene 2, he declares, "Methought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep'" (2.2.33-34). This haunting line demonstrates the profound impact of guilt on Macbeth's psyche. His troubled mind generates hallucinations and delusions as a manifestation of his tormented conscience. These psychological experiences are not indicative of schizophrenia but rather the consequences of his moral decay and the weight of his heinous
Danica Otten Ms. Matthews EN 102 18 April 2023 Schizoaffective Disorder in Shakespeare’s Macbeth The Tragedy of Macbeth (1623), a play by William Shakespeare, follows the main character, Macbeth, a robust and ambitious soldier who is loyal and fights for his king, Duncan of Scotland, until he receives a prophecy from three witches that he will one day become king. This prophecy drives him to murder Duncan and usurp the throne; however, once he becomes king, he continues murdering anyone he believes could betray him, as well as innocent women and children, as he sinks deeper into a state of mental illness. As the play progresses, it becomes more and more apparent that Macbeth suffers from Schizoaffective Disorder (SZD) due to his paranoia, delusions,
In William Shakespeare’s play, The Tragedy of Macbeth, the character of Macbeth is easily influenced by his wife and starts to spiral in his attempt to gain ambition. This is evident as he begins to behave in unexpected ways, seeing things, and negative thinking. This actively demonstrates that he is easily capable of changing drastically throughout this play by going through traumatic situations including his wife that calls him a coward if wasn’t be able to do so. In judgment of his character he would be diagnosed with schizophrenia for multipipe reasons. As being seen, Macbeth exhibits symptoms of schizophrenia to include: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, and negative thoughts.
This is because she has gotten to the point where she can't hold in what she has been so guilty about. She has gone insane due to her illness that she cannot get rid of. Psychoanalysis commonly views her illness as an expression of hysteria, which forces her to act out her anxiety rather than dreaming about it, and to repeat her same behaviors that she has tried to suppress.(Watson). This illustrates that Lady Macbeth is experiencing hysteria that Shakespeare portrays with a very good understanding, The sleepwalking scene shows the peak of Lady Macbeth's hysteria.(Coriat). She has changed from a brave and ambitious
45-46). Macbeth is overcome with guilt and states that he murders sleep and will never sleep again. The human body needs to sleep to be able to function properly. Sleep is not only necessary for a person’s physical health, but their psychological health, and without it Macbeth’s psychological health deteriorates. Along with lack of sleep Macbeth illustrates paranoia.
As the play progresses, Macbeth’s unchecked ambitions get progressively more out of hand, as his murders progress. He kills his close friend, Banquo to prevent the potential threat of Banquo’s heirs claiming the throne. Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo and tells lady Macbeth that he’ll visit the witches again. Lady Macbeth says that he “[lacks]” “sleep” which is a necessity for “all nature” (3.4.173). He continues to lack sleep, showing that his guilt is continuous and that he’ll never be at peace as he’s unable to escape the actions that haunt him.
One of the psychological effects that Macbeth went through would be hallucinations. An example of a hallucination would be in Act 2 Scene 1 “Is this a dagger which I see before me, / The handle toward my hand?” Before Macbeth carries out his act of regicide. “Is this a dagger I see before me” is implying that even Macbeth himself was unsure whether the dagger he sees is real or not, allowing us to assume that he might be hallucinating it.
In the play, Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, Macbeth wanted to gain power and leadership over the country of Scotland and become king. He wanted these authorities so desperately, Macbeth would do whatever it took to get it, even going as far as murdering not just one but multiple people. He wanted nothing more other than to be king as well as his wife. Throughout the play, Macbeth showed different varieties of many mental disorders but mainly Paranoia and Schizophrenia. Paranoia is described as ¨a delusional belief that one is being harassed, or betrayed by others¨, while Schizophrenia is described as ¨a serious long-term mental illness that affects how a person thinks, feels, and
Schizophrenia is a mental illness which is best known as one that causes people to believe others are talking to them, but it is much more than that. It also consists of symptoms such as hallucinations, apathy, and paranoia. This mental illness is caused by a combination of being born with it and environment factors that trigger it, such as a traumatic event or stress. In the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, Macbeth goes through the story slowly losing his mind and becoming less and less human. Although many blame Macbeth for his ultimate downfall, he is not at fault because he is mentally ill with schizophrenia, which are shown through the symptoms throughout the play.
Lady Macbeth tries to convince Macbeth to proceed in his prophecies to become King, but he doesn’t budge. Just before Duncan’s dinner, Macbeth decides to kill Duncan even though he said he’d never betray him. Bipolar disorder has a primary symptom called, “mixed episodes” where dramatic changes in decisions or feelings infects the mind (bipolar-lives.com). An example of a mixed episode Mabeth experiences is when his wife dies. Lady Macbeth commits suicide and Macbeth doesn’t seem to care whatsoever, “she should have died hereafter; there would have been a time for such a word” (5.5.17).
At the banquet Macbeth hosts for his guests, he cries, “Avaunt, and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee! Thy bones are marrowless, thy blood is cold; Thou has no speculation in those eyes Which thou dost glare with” (3.4.97-100). Macbeth feels guilty for being the cause of Banquo’s death, even though Macbeth hired murderers to get rid of him. Macbeth’s cruel thoughts cause him to hallucinate Banquo’s ghost, showing signs of mental derangement to his guests.