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

948 words 4 pages
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
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/When? /Now/ As I descended” create a sense of inner panic because they are talking fast and feel comfortable with their position even in their own house and would like to get as far away from this situation as possible.
“If we should fail-/ we fail?” act 1, scene 7 line 59 shows us that Macbeth no longer feels a man since he has to be reassured by Lady Macbeth who at this point is the stronger character suggesting that she is the man of the house not Macbeth.
Lady Macbeth starts of as a strong controlling woman that will do anything to make herself and her husband powerful. “Give me the daggers, the sleeping and the dead /are but pictures” this suggest that lady Macbeth has a great control over Macbeth and that she is more of a man because she has to finish framing the guards for committing the murder. She then turns to a suicidal wreck by the end taking her life.
Lady Macbeth is predisposed to her future fall by saying things such as “Had he not resembled /My father as he slept, I had done't.” Act 2, scene 2 line 13-14 and “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 pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums, /And dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you /Have done to this.” Act 1, scene 7 line 54-59 this shows that she would do anything to gain what she wanted except for hurting her family which she may have lost this is shown because she cannot

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