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Psychological Analysis of Lady Macbeth
Transcript of Psychological Analysis of Lady Macbeth
Lady Macbeth begins to have delusions and calls, " Come, you spirits/ that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,/ and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full/ of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood. Stop up th' access and passage to remorse,/ that no compunctions visitings of nature/ shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between/ th' effect and it." (1.5.47-54)
In Act 5 Lady Macbeth begins to sleepwalk, at this point she has lost her tough demeanor as her guilt makes her delirious. Her on and off behavioral issues as well as sleep walking can suggest bipolar disorder which "is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated energy levels, cognition, and mood with or without one or more depressive episodes" (princeton.edu).
Lady Macbeth comes off as mentally unstable within the very first scene that she is introduced. When Macbeth informs her of the witches prophecy that he will one day become king she becomes over ambitious and begins her descent into insanity.
Psychological Analysis of Lady Macbeth
These first two act suggest that of someone with paranoid schizophrenia: "(a form of schizophrenia characterized by delusions (of persecution or
grandeur or jealousy)
; symptoms may include
anger and anxiety
aloofness and doubts about gender identity
; unlike other types of schizophrenia the patients are usually
and (if delusions are not acted on) may
function in an apparently normal manner)
-Horsley, James. "Lady Macbeth: A Psychological Analysis." Web log post. WritersCafeorg RSS. Writerscafe.org, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.
-Macbeth (I,5): Lady Macbeth Receives News from Macbeth. YouTube. YouTube, 26 Nov. 2008. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.
-"Bipolar Disorder." Bipolar Disorder. Princeton.edu, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.
-Shakespeare, William, Barbara A. Mowat, and Paul Werstine. Macbeth. New York: Washington Square, 1992. Print.
-Wordnetweb.princeton.edu. Princeton.edu, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2015.
She immediately begins to plan Duncan's
murder saying, "Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be/ what thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature;/ it is too full o' the milk of human kindess/ to catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great,/ art not without ambition, but without/ the illness should attend it" (1.5.25-20)
Lady Macbeth has lost her manipulative control in her raltionship as well as in her everyday life. The guilt of Duncan, Banquo and Macduff's family's deaths leads her to an unstable state of depression that takes over her mind. When the doctor comes to watch her sleepwalking she exclaims, "Out, damned spot, out, I say!" (5.1.37), and "Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?" (5.1.41-42) This is her first main moment of change, she'd snapped and lost her hard skinned nature and let the anxiety of her guilt over come her mind. She even says, "Here's the smell of the blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand" (5.1.53-55)
I personally find that Lady Macbeth is overly controlling and manipulates her husband through the use of gender roles accusing him of not being man enough. Although this is a very clever tactic, as we can see because actually works, it is a terrible thing to do to one's spouse. I don't really like her personality and think she would benefit from medical or psychiatric treatment to touch on her selfishness and out of control ambitions.
In my opinion if Lady Macbeth had lived in our times she would have been able to work through her schizophrenia with psychiatric help, however due to the time that she lived in they did not yet understand how to fix problems of the mind. The doctor even states, "This disease is beyond my practice" (5.2.62.) and "More needs she the divine that the physician" (5.2.78.)