The Power Of Insanity In Macbeth

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There are some threads, that, once pulled, will unravel the whole sweater. In a similar sense, there are some events that can trigger the mind to unravel itself into insanity. In William Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, a Scottish general by the name of Macbeth, stumbles upon three witches, while walking with a man named Banquo, who foretell his ascent to the throne. Driven by the prophecies of the witches, the influence of his wife, and his own ambitions, Macbeth kills King Duncan and becomes king. Eventually, Macbeth, ridden with guilt, fear, and paranoia, commits even more murders in an attempt to secure his power; instead, he is overthrown and killed by Macduff. The downfall of the Macbeth is caused by the pulling of a thread — his first interaction with the witches — and the unraveling of his mind into insanity which is shown through his loss of empathy, his increased hostility and paranoia, and his delirious hallucinations.
In the beginning of the play, Macbeth’s mental health is seemingly stable, and although he has just finished fighting a battle, his thinking is still rational. His first words spoken are: “So foul and fair a day I have not seen” (1.3.39). He shows remorse over those who were killed in the battle and recognizes that even though he has
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This is first apparent when he has Macduff’s entire family murdered. He appears to feel no remorse over slaughtering innocent children in order to weaken Macduff. Later, his loss of empathy is solidified when he shows no sadness over Lady Macbeth’s suicide saying, “She should have died hereafter” (5.5.16). He begins to see life as meaningless, a mere “walking shadow” (5.5.23) that signifies nothing. At this point, Macbeth has succumbed to his crimes and appears to no longer feel emotion or fear, as seen when he states, “I have almost forgot the taste of fears” (5.5.9). Even as he realizes an invasion is imminent and his death is near, he is numb to

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