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Mental Illness In Macbeth Essay

1073 words - 5 pages

Mental illness is a serious societal problem today, and has been for a long time. People who have a mental illness often end up hurting other people mentally and physically. When someone has a mental illness, they might also end up hurting themselves or cause suffering for themselves. Also, it is sometimes difficult for them to understand things clearly, and they might be unsure of things in their life. All of these problems are shown in a person who is mentally ill. Macbeth hears his prophecy from three witches which starts his mental illness, along with Lady Macbeth pressuring him to kill the king. After Macbeth kills the king, things start to get out of hand; Macbeth gets over ambitious ...view middle of the document...

When people are mentally ill they often harm the people around them, but they also harm themselves mentally and physically.
In Macbeth, it is shown multiple times that people with mental illnesses harm themselves. Macbeth says… “Better to be with the dead whom we killed than endure this torture of the mind, this frantic restlessness” (Page 91). When he says this, it is showing that he would rather be dead than deal with the things going on in his mind that are torturing him. Later in the story, Lady Macbeth can not take her mental pain anymore and ends up killing herself. Macbeth says, “She shouldn’t have died so soon- I should have heard this news some other time!” on page 178. This shows that when Lady Macbeth ends her pain by hurting herself, she also hurt her husband and caused him pain and suffering. People with a mental illness will often hurt themselves because they are unsure of the things in their mind, and if they are real or not.
Hallucinations and strange thoughts are a common thing in people who have a mental illness. Before killing the king, Macbeth has a hallucination of floating daggers that turn bloody. He says… “Isn’t it possible to touch you as well as see you? Or are you nothing more than a dagger of the mind, a hallucination from my fevered brain?” (Page 48). When he says this, he is wondering why he is seeing the floating daggers in his mind, but he can not touch them or grab them. Macbeth thinks this is happening because he is nervous and worried, or maybe he is hallucinating because he has a fever. Before taking her life, Lady Macbeth sleep walks and talks in her sleep. She says… “What, will my hands never be clean?” (Page 162), and “The smell of blood still lingers!” (Page 163). These two things that she says while sleep walking show that her guilt is always there for killing the king, and it is causing her mental suffering. In the first quote, she is trying to...

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