Examples Of Bipolar Disorder In Macbeth

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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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