Shakespeare's Characterization In Macbeth Essay

1113 words - 4 pages

William Shakespeare is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the history of English literature as well as the world’s paramount playwright. Possibly the most superlative writing attribute he possessed was his unmatched ability of characterization. Shakespeare created unique, opaque, and eminent characters who related to almost everyone. When one thinks of these famous characters, Shakespeare’s tragedy of Macbeth comes into consideration. Macbeth is possibly Shakespearian Theatre’s densest and most disturbed character, and this prestigious title can be credited to his obvious psychological problems. The troubled mind of Macbeth can be related to several modern day psychological problems.
There is heavy speculation surrounding the psychology of Macbeth. Nevertheless, even with an elementary understanding of the play one can attribute Macbeth with troubled emotions, these emotions being encompassed by anxiety and it is many divisions. Anxiety is defined as “an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs…, by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it” (Merriam-Webster). The most common symptoms of anxiety disorder include feelings of “panic and fear, uncontrollable and obsessive thoughts, repeated thoughts or flashbacks of traumatic experiences, nightmares, ritualistic behaviors, problems sleeping, shortness of breath, ritualistic behaviors, an inability to be still and calm, nausea and dizziness, and palpitations” (WebMD). The exact causes of anxiety disorder are unknown, but research suggests the disorder is caused by changes in the brain and environmental stress. One division of emotion that falls under anxiety is panic. Panic is defined as “a sudden overpowering fright…acute extreme anxiety…a sudden unreasoning terror often accompanied by mass flight” (Merriam-Webster). While it is one thing to experience panic, it is another to have panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden feelings of terror that strike randomly, often creating an illogical and strange fear. Symptoms of panic attacks include a “racing heart, feeling weak, faint, or dizzy, tingling or numbness in the hands or fingers, sense of terror, of impending doom or death, feeling sweaty or having chills, chest pains, breathing difficulties, (and) feeling a loss of control” (WebMD). Multiple panic attacks can lead to a panic disorder, but it is quite possible to have panic attacks without a disorder. Another emotion that is a subdivision of anxiety and an offset of panic is fear. Fear is a constant emotion that is central to these more complex emotions. Some mistakenly confuse anger with fear, and while they are related this is false. “Fear is characterized by a lack of control, anger by a sense of control and mastery” (Barlow). These are the primary emotional problems associated with Macbeth. Macbeth exhibits the symptoms of these problems throughout the play and they...

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