Macbeth’s Mental Deterioration

Topics: Macbeth, Anxiety, Mind Pages: 4 (1648 words) Published: April 21, 2013
The mind of each and every individual is unique in its own special way; some, of which, are steadfast and can roll with the punches, while others bend, conform, or break with the many psychological and physical influences in life. In the play The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Macbeth is introduced by the wounded sergeant as a person of battlefield valor and who showed great loyalty for his king, Duncan. His mind, at the time, expresses an authentic adamant and patriotic persona which seems hard to be swayed. It is later revealed that Macbeth expresses a lack in strength of character and is easily corrupted by his lust for power. Encouraged by his wife, nerve racked by the witches, and plagued by his thirst for authority, his mental status deteriorates quickly and he becomes vastly more bloodthirsty. As the prophecy unfolds upon him, his mind experiences large scale corrosion of its former self; in effect, a disloyal, tyrannical, distraught, and violent Macbeth is sculpted. Throughout the play, Macbeth experiences numerous diverse mental stages and character flaws which ultimately lead to the recession of his mind.

Macbeth is first introduced in the injured sergeant’s account of Macbeth’s battlefield valor, giving the impression of a brave and capable warrior. This perspective, however, is complicated. Once Macbeth speaks with the witches, it is realized that his physical bravery is joined by an overwhelming ambition and a tendency of self-doubt. The prophecy made by the three witches brings him great joy, yet it also causes him inner turmoil and a deterioration of self-esteem. It becomes apparent that his wife, Lady Macbeth is one of the sole forms of outward encouragement that brings him to the horrible acts of murder. Macbeth, unlike the normally desensitized villain, is unable to rid himself of the guilt accumulated from his murders. In a sense, he is not the average villain because the coping mechanism used to remove guilt is not present in...
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