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An Evil Brain For The Insane

1312 words - 5 pages

Evil is an injurious power; it brings harm to those who adopt it and their victims. In William Shakespeare's Macbeth, protagonists Macbeth and Lady Macbeth become tethered to the reigns of evil. Evil compels people to commit twisted acts of violence and takes control of ones body and mind. “In Macbeth evil is the opposite of humanity, the deviation from that which is natural for humankind, yet evil originates in the human heart” (Pilkington). Macbeth succumbs to evil through his own imperfection, greed, which in turn causes him to upset the predetermined chain of being. “Shakespeare shows, with Macbeth as an example, that any man can turn evil due to the temptations led on by many things. His temptations of evil are led on by the witches prophecies, and by being manipulated by what others say” (Rosner). When Macbeth willingly murders, lies and deceives for his own personal betterment, he loses his self and his sanity. The parasitic nature of evil cause it to influence all objects that lay in its’ path, and Macbeth agrees to become evil's disciple. When Macbeth takes on evil, it totally consumes his mind, and it ultimately leads to his downfall. Lady Macbeth is an associated victim of Macbeth's desire to be king, and becomes thirsty for power herself. After the Macbeth’s are well into the depths of greed and corruption, it is clear that their guilt will revisit them for the rest of their lives. Those who felt the effects of their evil will reciprocate the Macbeth’s bad karma. 

By embracing evil, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have committed villainous acts that leave behind permanent mental scars. Their guilt leads them to an unsettled state of mind, and slowly degrades their functionality. Macbeth's guilt causes him to act strangely in the presence of his guests, and it haunts him deeply. “He cannot voice an amen to an overheard prayer, ‘I had most need of blessing, and ‘Amen’ / Stuck in my throat’ (2.2.30 31), having made himself no longer a man, no longer worthy of blessing” (Pilkington). His guilt paralyzes him when he does feel it, but throughout the majority of the play he appears guiltless, and this encourages him to perpetuate his murderous ways. Although his guilt does not directly destroy him, it is a contributing factor that brings his own men against him. The lords grow suspicious as he [Macbeth] speaks to his hallucinations, brought forth by his guilt, and they question his conflict, "What sights, my lord?"(III.iv.142).
Lady Macbeth refrains from showing her guilt throughout the play until her death, which provides evidence that her overwhelming guilt is what killed her. As is seen by her bought of sleepwalking, Lady Macbeth feels guilty of her actions and she replays the events that trouble her during her sleep. "The thane of Fife had a wife. Where is / she now? What, will these hands ne'er be clean?" (V.i.44-45). Lady Macbeth witholds her guilt throughout the play, and the intense pressure of secrecy is what drives her to...

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