January 8 2015
Lady Macbeth’s tragic downfall
Throughout Macbeth, Lady Macbeth goes through a lot of stress and dramatic events which lead her originally ascendant attitude to worsen into insanity. It begins with a strong desire for power and evil schemes. Leading to murder, calling upon demons, sleepwalking and hallucinations.
Some of the first signs of insanity shown by Lady Macbeth is her strong desire for power. In the first act, the 5th scene, the lady has just received a letter from Macbeth informing her of the witch’s prophecy that he shall become King of Scotland. She immediately begins to plot the murder of Duncan, and starts off on fantasies and delusions of her husband ruling the country and how she can help her husband rise as the king. Her intentions are expressed in the lines: “Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be
What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o’ th’ milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great,
Art not with ambition, but without
The illness should attend it. “ (Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 15-20).
Next, in Lady Macbeth’s decline towards insanity she begun to go on about some things only a truly insane, unremorseful person could speak of. She tells of her own dominant, violent ideas to inspire her husband to be ruthless in the following lines. “I have given suck, and know
How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me.
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums
And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this.” (Act 1, Scene 7, Lines 62-66).
She begins to show signs of schizophrenia when she summons demons to help strengthen her to murder Duncan. This is the first real sign of a mental deterioration as she is no longer able to tell fantasy from reality. She exclaims: “ Come, you spirits
That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,
And fill me from the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document