Analysis of How Mental Illnesses Shape Macbeth’s Character

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Finally, Macbeth does everything possible to fit into society. He tries to prove that he is masculine like every other man. He wants Lady Macbeth and others to recognize that he is masculine, yet he fails. He is not able to fit into society. A very popular and educated psychologist named Erik Erikson stated his theory on depression by saying, those who try to fit into society and contribute can fail to do so, and them failing can lead them to being depressed. This could be another reason for Macbeth’s depression. He tries to fit in but he fails, Erik Erikson states if u fail to fit in it can lead you to depression. It is possible that this is another reason for Macbeth’s depression. Macbeth shows that he wants others to recognize that he is masculine, Macbeth tries to prove his masculinity when he kills Duncan. Lady Macbeth convinces him that if he does it that he would be masculine. He says, “I am settled, and bend up Each corporal agent to this terrible feat”. 

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He commits the murder of Duncan to prove masculinity, yet him doing so does not satisfy Lady Macbeth. Macbeth fails to prove he is masculine, and he fails to fit in with the other men. Macbeth’s failure to satisfy Lady Macbeth is observed when he refuses to return the daggers to the crime scene because he is scared, it is seen that Lady Macbeth is not satisfied when she responds to Macbeth by saying, “Infirm of purpose! Give me the daggers. The sleeping and the dead are but as pictures. 'Tis the eye of childhood that fears a painted devil. If he do bleed, I’ll gild the faces of the grooms withal, for it must seem their guilt”. Lady Macbeth is emphasizing that Macbeth is a coward; she is telling him that only kids are afraid of pictures. She is rubbing it in his face that he will never be seen as masculine and that he is a failure. Therefore, Macbeth’s failure to fit into society also plays a big role in why he is depressed.

In conclusion, the mental disorders that are viewed in Macbeth support that he is careless and guiltless. The disorders Macbeth experiences change his thought process, and these mental illnesses are seen a various amount of times throughout the play. Firstly, Macbeth's past life is the cause of his PTSD. Secondly, Macbeth’s meeting with the witches causes his psychosis. Furthermore, Macbeth first portrays he is psychotic when he commits the murder of Duncan. Macbeth’s Psychotic actions show he has PTSD. Also, symptoms of psychosis are observed in Macbeth. Also, Macbeth’s past psychotic actions cause him to develop Asperger syndrome. To add, These three mental illnesses lead Macbeth to develop schizophrenia. In addition, Macbeth portrays he is schizophrenic during the murder of Duncan. Also, Macbeth hiring people to kill Banquo is an act of psychosis. After Banquo’s death, Macbeth continues to experience schizophrenia. Furthermore, all of these mental illnesses come together to cause Macbeth’s depression. Finally, Macbeth’s failure to satisfy Lady Macbeth is another reason for his depression. These mental illnesses shape Macbeth’s personality. If Macbeth does not experience these mental illnesses he would not take part in the actions that he takes part in.

These mental illnesses experienced by Macbeth change the way he is observed by both the characters in the play and those reading the play. He is presented as a careless guiltless selfish coward. People need to acknowledge that those who suffer from mental illnesses do not think they are performing an action that is abnormal; they think what they are doing is fine. They do not have the same thought process as those who do not suffer from a mental illness. One needs to put themselves in the shoes of those suffering from mental illnesses and treat them with more respect; they have to stop judging the decisions made by those experiencing mental illnesses.   

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