Mental Issues In “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare

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My research will focus on analyzing Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. I will delve into their use of anger, illusions, stress, and other issues. The main objective is to examine their problems and disorders by differentiating between various conditions such as bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, sleeping disorder, and paranoia. I aim to identify the symptoms of stress and suffering present in both characters.

From doctors, psychiatrists, prison guards, and dictionaries, I have obtained a collection of observation information. These resources have proven to be highly informative. In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, the protagonist Macbeth exhibits evident mental problems. This becomes apparent early in the play when the captain describes a grim aspect of Macbeth during the initial battle with Norway: “which never shook hands, nor blade farewell to him, till he unseamed him from the nave to the chops.”

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The quote illustrates how Macbeth’s lack of guilt is troubling, especially when faced with death. When he beheads his enemies and puts their heads on his swords, he highlights symptoms commonly associated with schizophrenia like hallucinations, delusions, racing thoughts, apathy, emotional emptiness, and impaired social abilities. It is evident that Macbeth lacks emotions and struggles in social situations. Given the seriousness of his condition, I would diagnose him with clozapine.

The patient suffering from schizophrenia would receive Clozapine, an economical antipsychotic drug, for at least three years to relieve symptoms. Before reentering society and engaging with others, the patient’s improvement would be assessed to ensure effective rehabilitation and provide assurance of safety in case of a relapse.

Macbeth’s mental state is portrayed as abnormal compared to the average individuals of his era in multiple ways. He undergoes internal turmoil and articulates, “I had the greatest need for blessing, but ‘AMEN’ stuck in my throat.” It is not solely the fear of being exposed for his deeds, but rather the all-encompassing guilt that starts to devour him internally and ultimately results in his downfall.

Macbeth suffers from a sleeping disorder that affects both humans and animals, resulting in disrupted sleep patterns. This condition can have a significant impact on one’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being. To treat Macbeth’s condition, drugs that induce sleepiness are used. Hypnotics and sedatives are commonly employed to reduce anxiety and promote drowsiness.

To enhance Macbeth’s sleep quality at night, it is advisable for him to obtain sufficient rest in dimly lit and tranquil environments, with comfortable bedding. Additionally, it is my firm conviction that Macbeth is grappling with an intense instance of post traumatic stress disorder. This disorder encompasses a psychological response that ensues after enduring an extremely distressing incident, such as combat in war, physical aggression, or a natural catastrophe. Typically, this reaction manifests as feelings of depression and anxiety, recurring flashbacks and nightmares, as well as a tendency to avoid triggers that remind one of the event.

The speaker reflects on his feelings of regret for the king’s assassination, acknowledging that he bears responsibility for this act. He questions whether any amount of water can remove the blood from his hands, stating “will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No; this my hand would rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red”. These words highlight his deep remorse for killing someone who had shown him trust and loyalty, unaware of the betrayal that lay within.

To treat Macbeth’s post traumatic stress disorder, I suggest prescribing propranolol, which inhibits the sympathetic nervous system. Additionally, imipramine and phenelzine can be used as they impact neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and acetylcholine. Studies have shown that these medications are more effective than a placebo in reducing flashbacks and feelings of helplessness. Taking all this into account, I hereby diagnose Macbeth with schizophrenia, a sleep disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder until further notice.

Macbeth will be prescribed Clozapine, a medication that is commonly used to treat schizophrenia. This medication possesses sedative properties and can also effectively alleviate symptoms of anxiety and sleep disorders. In addition to Clozapine, Macbeth’s treatment plan includes the administration of propranolol, imipramine, and phenelzine in order to address his post traumatic stress disorder. A crucial component of Macbeth’s therapy involves receiving psychiatric assistance for a minimum duration of 3 years.

On the contrary, Lady Macbeth encounters her own set of challenges within Shakespeare’s tragic narrative. Despite sharing some similarities with Macbeth, there are notable distinctions between these two characters. Ultimately, it was Lady Macbeth who exerted influence over Macbeth and played an instrumental role in his descent into madness.

Lady Macbeth’s influence spurred Macbeth to commit his first regicide. Lady Macbeth demonstrated a willingness to resort to drastic measures and participate in acts of aggression, even suggesting that she would harm her own child if she had made the same commitment as Macbeth. This suggests that Lady Macbeth displays characteristics commonly associated with Borderline Personality Disorder, which can lead to psychological instability and impulsive behaviors. Such symptoms may encompass a fear of being abandoned and an increased susceptibility to suicidal inclinations, although these tendencies may diminish over the course of time.

In order to ensure the safety and proper treatment of the patient, I advise prescribing limited quantities of antipsychotic or antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication. It is vital to stress that Lady Macbeth must refrain from mixing her medication with alcohol as this could have tragic consequences. Furthermore, she struggles internally with guilt, leading to sleepwalking symptoms that pose a significant threat as they could impair her mentally and potentially lead to her downfall.

Scientists have confirmed that people are highly vulnerable during sleep, increasing the risk of suicide, especially when experiencing high levels of stress. Lady Macbeth will receive a diagnosis of drugs that induce drowsiness, commonly used as sedatives to alleviate anxiety. It is crucial for her to confront and address her problems rather than allowing them to escalate internally, leading to reduced turmoil and increased prosperity.

Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth show signs of mental illness, indicating that they should be admitted to a psychiatric institution. Macbeth suffers from schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and insomnia. Similarly, Lady Macbeth has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and also struggles with sleep disturbances requiring daily medication. (Works Cited: Dontee Sessoms 1. Prentice Hall literature * Macbeth * Act I Act II * Act III 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Their conditions can also be compared to Bipolar Disorder, which is characterized by alternating episodes of depression and mania or episodes of depression accompanied by mild nonpsychotic excitement (similar to Major Depressive Disorder).

Anxiety disorder, also known as anxiety neurosis or anxiety state, includes a variety of disorders marked by anxiety as the primary symptom. These disorders include panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder. Panic disorder specifically entails experiencing recurring sudden panic attacks followed by at least one month of worrying about future attacks, their consequences, or changes in behavior resulting from these episodes.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological response that occurs following an extremely stressful event, such as combat in warfare, physical aggression, or a natural disaster, which exceeds typical human experiences. It is commonly characterized by symptoms including depression, anxiety, flashbacks, recurring nightmares, and avoidance of triggers related to the traumatic incident. PTSD is also referred to as delayed-stress disorder, delayed-stress syndrome, or post-traumatic stress syndrome. It can be likened to PTSD caused by combat.

Borderline Personality disorder, commonly starting in early adulthood, is an abnormal behavior pattern marked by psychological instability and impulsiveness. Individuals affected frequently experience a fear of abandonment and are prone to thoughts of suicide. With time, their symptoms may alleviate.

Schizophrenia, also referred to as dementia praecox, is a profound mental disorder. While it may not exhibit all these characteristics, typical indications involve emotional blunting, cognitive decline, social withdrawal, incoherent speech and behavior patterns, delusions, and hallucinations.

Sleep disorder is a medical condition that affects the sleep patterns of individuals and animals, causing disruptions in normal physical, mental, and emotional functioning. Polysomnography is frequently employed to diagnose specific sleep disorders.

In contrast, paranoia is a particular type of schizophrenia characterized by a gradual deterioration in personality, accompanied by delusions and hallucinations.

Obsessive-compulsive describes a personality style that displays characteristics including perfectionism, indecision, conscientiousness, attention to detail, rigidity, and inhibition.

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Mental Issues In “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare. (2017, Mar 17). Retrieved from

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