Mental Deterioration In Macbeth

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American sociologist Charles Horton Cooley once said, “to cease to admire is a proof of deterioration”. He’s stating that when admiration in life is lost, life itself is lost. However, a person does not lose admiration in life quickly. It is a buildup of hardship and challenging moral decisions that lead to the mental deterioration of a human being. William Shakespeare displays this idea of hardship and mental deterioration in an extensive number of his tragedies, one of which being Macbeth. Throughout this play, the character of Macbeth evolves and Shakespeare displays how his mind deteriorates from a virtuous to a sinister man, due to the events that occur throughout this tragedy. Macbeth’s reputation is immediately introduced into the play…show more content…
His decision to kill Macduff’s family was one that cost him his life. Macduff immediately retaliated and unleashed his army upon Macbeth’s army with the help of Malcolm. Meanwhile, Lady Macbeth is beginning to go mad, has started to sleepwalk, and has lost her mind. As the enemy forces approach in the distance of Forres, Lady Macbeth kills herself. When the horrific news is revealed to Macbeth he states, “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” (V. v). Macbeth has lost all hope, and doesn’t care about life anymore. He is comparing it to a story that nobody cares about, a shadow that walks, and a bad actor that nobody cares about. Dying isn’t something that he cares about anymore, and he’s ready to lose in battle. He’s lost all ambition in life, and his mind has completely changed from what it once was. The challenging decisions and hardship that he’s been through has caused him to lose his moral compass and his mental capacity. Without the deaths of Duncan, Banquo, or Macduff’s family, the audience would probably see the Macbeth that was shown at the beginning of the play. This play portrays how someone so favorable, can turn into someone so dreadful based on the circumstances that he was given, and the circumstances that he put himself…show more content…
The first impression that the audience is obligated to believe is that Macbeth is an exceptional person, and they should believe in him. However, his mind changes when he receives prophecies from three witches. These prophecies lead him to make wrongful decisions in order for them to become true. One of which was the killing of Duncan. This absolutely changed his mental state, and was the beginning of a numerous amount of murders. The audience sees a completely changed mental state when he decides to kill Macduff’s family. Finally, Macbeth’s mental state after his wife dies is ruined. He sees no reason to live anymore, and doesn’t care about the life he’s living, which is a strong contrast from the beginning of the play. The influence of outside sources on Macbeth’s character, ultimately led to his mental deterioration, and without them, the tragedy of Macbeth would not have been a tragedy at

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