Macbeth by William Shakespeare is a play about how greed can demoralize a person. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s minds were corrupted due to their lust for power after hearing the prophecies given to Macbeth by the witches. First or all, Macbeth’s lust for power was apparent when he ordered Banquo and his son’s death. He wanted to ensure his position as king would not be taken, and as the witches stated - Banquo’s sons would be king. The first evidence of Macbeth losing his mind was after he ordered Banquo’s death.
Macbeth, a tragedy written by William Shakespeare, tells of the events in Scotland that led to the death of Duncan, the king, and events that followed afterward. Duncan was killed by Macbeth, but it was his wife that suffered for it, due to her involvement and insistence in the crime. Lady Macbeth suffers from schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) throughout the play as displayed by her obsessively washing her hands in her sleep, her paranoia, and aggressive tendencies. During the first scene of act five Lady Macbeth is sleepwalking and doing strange compulsive actions. Matthew Jacofsky describes compulsions as “recurring behaviors (such as repeatedly checking appliances or repeatedly washing hands) or repetitive mental acts
Lady Macbeth has fallen into the insanity of guilt. Moving back to mental health, Hysteria was a growing ailment in this time period. It was recognized as a predominant female malady. It was also known as the “suffocation of the mother”. Symptoms arose from displacement from the womb, according to physicians.
William Shakespeare was big on paying patronage to King James I who experienced treachery and betrayal. So Shakespeare wanted to please King James I and create Macbeth to show how prominent traits of fear, ambition, and guilt within Lady Macbeth can result in tragedy and ruin. Lady Macbeth is the wife of Macbeth; who is told by three witches it is his destiny to rule and be king one day. Lady Macbeth begins the play with an aspiration driven attitude. She is determined for her husband to become king, and
“'Tis safer to be that which we destroy / Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy.” Lady Macbeth claims that its better to be the person who were murdered than to be the killer and be tortured by guilt. It was at that moment the queen has thoughts of suicide. Eventually the guilt completely consumes her and she is no longer to function properly. When she is brought to go see a doctor, she exclaims while sleepwalking : “The thane of Fife had a wife: where is she now? / What, will these hands ne'er be clean?--No more o' / that, my lord, no more o' that: you mar all /with /this starting.”(5.
In this quote she is dreaming about the blood on her hands. She can not get the blood off or the smell to go away. Guilt was killing macbeth and his wife. In conclusion guilt played a major role in Macbeth. The theme of guilt is indicated by Lady Macbeth through her dreams and Macbeth’s internal conflict.
So although Macbeth was killed by rebels, Lady Macbeth has ultimate responsibility for his death. Lady Macbeth is responsible for killing her husband because she pressured him into the killing of others, which ended up getting him killed. As soon as Lady Macbeth found out she was becoming wife to the Thane of Cawdor, all she wanted was more power. Lady Macbeth applied pressure on Macbeth In Act 1 Scene 7 Lines 38-41 by saying, “. .
(Act 1, Scene 7) Through the power of manipulation, Lady Macbeth powerfully challenges Macbeth to commit to the plan to murder King Duncan by exclaiming “screw your courage to the sticking-place. And we’ll not fail.” (Act I, Scene 7) It is through her words that Lady Macbeth has her husband, Macbeth, murder King Duncan and achieve her great desire to become Queen of Scotland. Unfortunately, the death of King Duncan begins Macbeth’s reign of tyranny, which also begins the emergence of Lady Macbeth’s guilty conscience. As a result of serving as a catalyst that effectively unleashes Macbeth’s true side of evil, Lady Macbeth’s guilty conscience begins to surface. Immediately upon becoming King of Scotland, Macbeth’s wicked and selfish ambitions to achieve absolute dominance over the throne begins his murderous reign of tyranny.
As soon as Macbeth is informed of the prophecy that he will be king, from the witches, he tells Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth starts persuading Macbeth to kill the current king, King Duncan, and rule Scotland, with Lady Macbeth by his side. Macbeth opposes the idea of killing Duncan at first, but at the end he is broken and Lady Macbeth’s will is done. This implies that Lady Macbeth is very persuasive and can control Macbeth, ‘we’ll not fail’ Lady Macbeth to Macbeth. In the Jacobean era, the wife would not be able or allowed to argue with her husband, however Lady Macbeth made Macbeth kill the king, which suggests that she wants to be powerful and doesn’t care how she gets it.
In play Macbeth, Shakespeare reveals that an individual’s great desire for power will lead him/her to perform consequential deeds that will scar his/her conscience and change the outcome of his/her life eternally. Macbeth is informed by three witches that he is going to become king and this initiates Macbeth’s thought of becoming powerful. Macbeth doesn’t act on his thoughts until he tells his wife, Lady Macbeth, that he could become king. Lady Macbeth is extremely power hungry and does all she can to convince Macbeth to be just as desirable as her. Together, they come up with a plan to murder King Duncan, so that Macbeth can become king like the witches foretold.