There are many situations throughout history that have lead a human into mental deterioration. Some may come from a family history with it , others get it for the want of power. There are many Mental illnesses in our culture that are common and many stories have been surrounded with that illness. One of the stories would be written by the well known play -writer/author William Shakespear. The story that has been known with mental deterioration would be Macbeth, who is a man with great ambition and obsession. During the beginning Macbeth is a perfectly normal being whose life seems to be great. Throughout the play he quickly changes into a psychotic man who has done something terrible and his guilt drives him into craziness. The things that would cause this would be the witches, the hunger for power, and hallucinations. All together these were the perfect recipe for his downfall.
In the beginning of the play while Macbeth is still mentally stable he runs into supernaturals characters. Those would be the witches who started his deterioration. They tell him a prophecy. In Act 1 scene 3 lines 49-51 the witches exclaim “ All hail, Macbeth! Hail to the, Thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth! Hail to theThane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter” This made Macbeth question himself since right after the encounter with the witches he was announced Thane of Cawdor. He began to think if the witches are supposedly evil why are they giving him good fortunes that become true. Macbeth began to question about how he was to be king and started thinking that he might have to kill King Duncan and that made him feel guilty for even thinking about it. Later in the play Macbeth has his first hallucination of a dagger with blood. This would foreshadow Macbeths’ future with killing.
After Macbeth had his visions he talks to his wife about how he was proclaimed to be king. Act 1 scene 7 she asserts “ When you durst do it, then you were a man.” His wife not only basically said that if you do not kill this king you are no man. This saying does no help for him emotionally and mentally. Instead This would drive him into killing King duncan. I believe that the wife had something to do with his falling because she drove him to question himself again, did not support him by trying to calm him down from the madness, and made him kill people that were close to him. One of those would be his best friend Banquo.
While the witches told Macbeth that he would become king they also told Banquo that instead of him becoming a king he would have a line of kings in the future. After Macbeth kills the king he begins to worry that if Banquos’ prophecy were to become true how would that make it true? He believed that the only way it would be is if Macbeth would have to die. this was a big breaking point for him. His hallucinations became worsen throughout the play . In Scene 3 Act 4 Macbeth is having a dinner with a few guests. As he goes to his seat he witnesses the ghost of banquo sitting there. He begins to talk to the ghost saying “ Thou canst not say I did it, never shake thy glory locks at me.” Remember that no one other than Macbeth can see Banquos’ ghost. The guest at the table began to think that Macbeth himself is mentally ill. HIs wife would have to excuse him and basically say that he has his little episode. This would negatively affect Macbeths’ mind and drive him into a hole of insanity that he could not come out of.
Overall as the play advances so does Macbeths’ insanity. The ultimate cause were the witches, greed for power, hallucinations, and wife cause the downfall of our tragic hero.In the beginning of the play he was one of the most honorable men in his kingdom. By the end though he develops into a distorted man whose guilt has consumed him whole. His guilt will not let him relish in all his victories. Since he has made absurd decisions this would be the reasonable outcome in the end of the play and would lead to his death.