Insanity in Macbeth

1208 WordsOct 11, 20135 Pages
In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a few of the characters face insanity. This insanity begins with their desire for power and sovereignty. A man named Macbeth is told of a prophecy that states Macbeth will become king. However, the witches’ prophecy also states Macbeth’s friend, Banquo is the father of the next king. As a result, Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth murder the current king, Duncan, and later on Banquo’s son. Consequently, Macbeth faces insanity from his guilt following the murder of the king. While on the other hand, Lady Macbeth goes mad for the prophecy’s promise, but later on, is also eaten up by the guilt of her crimes. At the same time, the Witches (a.k.a. Weird Sisters), express their insanity when they meddle…show more content…
From the very beginning, the Weird sisters blatantly use their magical advantage over other characters in order to feel powerful compared to these characters. An example of this is when the witches avenge against a sailor because his wife simply refuses to give one of the witches a chestnut. The sisters cast a spell to forbid the sailor from sleeping “neither night nor day” (I.iii.20) until he “dwindle, peak, and pine” (I.iii.24) as a punishment for his wife’s rejection of the witches. The witches avenge a sailor who does nothing wrong, all over a chestnut; hence they give such a blatant punishment and guarantee that he will never sleep again until the day he dies. The witches’ hyperbolic punishment shows that their method of penalty is unfair and cruel. In other words, the witches are abusive of their magical advantages and are insanely oblivious to other people’s feelings. Another example of endeavour for power is when the witches trick Macbeth into thinking he cannot be murdered by any man “born of a woman” (IV.i.87). The idea of being immortal causes Macbeth to become careless, and ultimately becomes the reason for his downfall. Meanwhile on the other hand, Macbeth’s downfall is the witches’ success to deceive. In other words, the Weird sisters obtain satisfaction from the suffering of others by their means in order gain the feeling authority over somebody else. Without a doubt, Macbeth,
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