Macbeth's Mentality

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An honorable soldier, a tyrannical king. When these personas intertwine, it threatens the livelihood and stability of a highly-acclaimed thane. The tainted nature of Macbeth’s tenure as king in The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare constitutes an insecure rule under psychological siege, highlighting Macbeth’s changes in mentality about kingship. Macbeth’s mentality was under fire the moment he conveyed his plan for kingship to Lady Macbeth. For example, when Macbeth is greeted by the witches while traveling, he is told he is to be king. Upon hearing this, he concocts a plan to murder the current king of Scotland, Duncan, in order to expedite his rise to kingship. However, at the last second, he explains, “We will go no further in this…show more content…
Thinking this means everyone, Macbeth feels he no longer has to worry about Macduff, a main he finds most threatening to his position as king. However, this is not enough to satisfy Macbeth’s mental scorpions. Looking over the situation, Macbeth comments, “Then live, Macduff; what need I fear of thee?/But yet I’ll make assurance double sure/And take a bond of fate. Thou shalt not live,/That I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies,/And sleep in spite of thunder” (4.1.93-97). His mentality about kingship has grown so strong that he finds fear in a man he has foreseen to do absolutely no harm to him. The demons laying siege to his conscience compel him to murder not only Macduff, but his family, which is a most unnecessary move given the prophecy he learned. His mentality has taken a cataclysmic shift towards staunch protection of himself and his throne through ruthlessness and bloodshed. This condition is further exemplified when Macbeth rambles, “I have lived long enough. My way of life/Is fall’n into the sere, the yellow leaf,/And that which should accompany old age,/As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends,/I must not look to have, but in their stead/Curses, not loud but deep, outh-honor, breath/Which the poor heart would fain deny and dare/not” (5.3.26-33). Macbeth audible expresses his weariness of holding the throne. However, he goes on to state, “I’ll fight till from my bones my flesh be hacked” (5.2.38). Despite his weariness of being king, his mind is hardwired at this point to defend the throne with his life. It’s as if his mind has been overtaken by its besiegers and fully corrupted. He is no longer who he once was. Rather than fight for his allies and the common good, he fights for himself against his former allies. This action symbolizes a one-hundred-eighty degree turn in mental attitude, like a contagion that has possessed his

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