Macbeth: Schizophrenic? Essay

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Macbeth’s tragic downfall into insanity could be modernly diagnosed as the mental disorder schizophrenia. Many of the actions carried out by Macbeth during the play lead the reader to believe that Macbeth is crazy. However, by today’s medical standards, Macbeth falls into several of the categories under the diagnosis of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is defined as, "a psychotic disorder characterized by loss of contact with the environment, by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life, and by disintegration of personality expressed as disorder of feeling, thought, and conduct."
In Act I Macbeth is very uneasy in his and Lady Macbeth’s decision to kill Duncan. He says, “We shall proceed no further in …show more content…

Macbeth can be further diagnosed as a schizophrenic paranoid type, which is a subdivision of schizophrenia. This category is defined by its criteria of: Preoccupation with one or more delusions or frequent auditory hallucinations. Macbeth frequently and vividly hallucinates during the play. The first indicator into his hallucinogenic illness is when he struggles to decide whether or not to kill his good friend, Banquo. As he argues to himself, he begins to imagine a dagger in front of him. Hay says, to himself, “Is this a dagger which I see before me...” (II, 1, 33) “Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible to feeling as to sight, or art thou but a dagger of the mind, a false creation, proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?” (II.2.35-39) In this passage, Macbeth even admits to himself that he is beginning to see things that are not only unreal, but a projected figment of his tainted mind. Soon after, as he returns to see the three witches, who started this whole masquerade, he sees another vision. This time, it is a vision of his future. He sees an armed child, a bloody child, and a child with a crown holding a tree branch. (IV.1) This is meant to represent Macbeth’s future and to warn him of what will happen with MacDuff. He then proceeds to vision all of the former Kings of Scotland

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