How Does Shakespeare Present the Psychological Deterioration of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth?

Topics: Macbeth, Mind, Sleep Pages: 3 (962 words) Published: November 3, 2012
How does Shakespeare present the psychological deterioration of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth? When considering the idea of disturbed minds we are quickly drawn to an image of mental illness, brutality or social disorder but this is not always the case. There are many reasons as to why an individual might have a disturbed mind: stress, traumatic experiences, childhood problems or illness. Shakespeare’s play “Macbeth” is about a loyal warrior a “lion” and his wife being destroyed by their minds, which cannot lay at rest after killing the king, which in 1603 would be a crime against mankind, nature and God. This is because in 1603 there was a distinct hierarchy of power which was as follows. King, Man, Woman and then beast. By killing the king the murder would have gone against God since the king was his representative, against nature as it would seem that man or woman would be above the king depending on the gender of the murderer and against mankind as it would unrightfully take away a life. The play would have been extremely disturbing to the audience during those times because of the reasons listed above as well as involving witches which were considered real. Through this play Shakespeare suggests that killing the king would bring down God’s wrath on the murderer and conspirators behind the crime. As well as forcing nature to act independently to punish the criminals as well. Not only did Shakespeare write this out of belief but also because amongst the audience would be King James the first who was facing massive struggles because he was a Scottish king that the English did not like him. One thing that Shakespeare does to create a sense of deterioration in Macbeth is his fall from grace and perfection, which is using Aristotle’s idea of a tragic hero that he/she, will fall from a great height because of their one fatal flaw either making the audience feel sympathetic of scared depending on the character. “a sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion” Act 1 scene 2 line...
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