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Macbeth’s thought process is unclear because his thought process is clouded constantly by guilt. For example, in the text it states that “When the brains were out, the man would die,/ And there an end; but now, they rise again,/ With twenty mortal murders on their crowns,/ And push us from our stools” (Shakespeare 3.4. 95-98). This quote shows how Macbeth is being haunted by those who he has killed, due to his guilt. This is significant because even through Machiavellianism and a sadist mindset, one’s superego will always return to haunt what their id has driven them to do. It is common to think that some people simply do not have a conscience, but that is incorrect. Everyone’s actions are driven by a battle between this juxtaposition. Their superego may not be present during the initial action but it will always return. Macbeth’s guilt hampered his thought process and therefore became his greatest hamartia.
Macbeth was thinking unclear because his thought process was clouded by the witches’ prophecy. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, it states “Thou wast born of woman. / But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn, / Brandish’d by the man that’s of a woman born” (5.7. 16-18). Macbeth knew that Macduff is a stronger fighter, but because he was told by the witches that no one born of a woman could kill him he felt infallible and decided to fight. The witches’ prophecy gave him a false ego that took control of his actions and he died because of it. Those in power tend to have Machiavellian thoughts to stay in power. They become sadists as their id’s govern their decisions and cloud their judgement. Macbeth’s hubris lead to his overall hamartia.
In Macbeth, love is a powerful motivator that causes characters to commit crazy acts. In the play Lady Macbeth takes advantage of Macbeth's love for her in order to make him murder King Duncan. This means that Macbeth commits regicide because of his love for his his. This is significant because regicide is an unforgivable crime and any attempt to commit it would be madness. One would require an incredibly strong source of motivation such love before attempting this heinous crime. Love is a strong source of motivation because it stimulates one's id and it suppresses one's superego. this leads to more rash decisions and less thought before taking action. Love can motivate anyone to do anything.
Throughout the play Macbeth was affected by external forces. An example of this is when Macbeth states “If good, why do I yield to that suggestion/ Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair/ And make my seated heart knock at my ribs,/ Against the use of nature? Present fears/ Are less than horrible imaginings:/ My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical”.(Shakespeare 1.3 141-146) Macbeth is starting to think of murdering the king right after the witches told him the prophecy of becoming king. Macbeth started to imagine how the prophecy might come true after it was placed in his mind. This happens a lot in society where when people suggest something it gets stuck in their heads and gets built into something bigger.
Though Lady Macbeth and Macbeth’s relationship was flawed, Macbeth was influenced by his love for Lady Macbeth throughout the play. Macbeth’s desire to please Lady Macbeth led him to kill Duncan. Macbeth struggled with the idea of killing Duncan for his own merit, however when Lady Macbeth expressed interest in obtaining the throne, she heavily influenced Macbeth in his decision. Macbeth was infatuated with Lady Macbeth and he wanted to please her. Ultimately without Lady Macbeth’s influence, Macbeth would not have been able to kill Duncan. Throughout the play it is also demonstrated how guilt is the cause of paranoia. The guilt that Macbeth felt for killing all those people, eventually affected his mental stability. The burden of all the deaths he caused led him to hallucinate and put him in a vulnerable mental state. The guilt that he felt caused him to become paranoid. He knew what he did was wrong, and he became paranoid that everyone was out to get him. When he sent people to murder Banquo, he began to hallucinate his ghost. If Macbeth had not felt guilty for what he had done, he would not have seen his ghost. Ultimately Macbeth’s paranoia was caused by the guilt he felt for all the things that he had done.
In Macbeth, guilt drives Macbeth to the actions he performed throughout the play. He demonstrates this by Hallucinating about Banquo and trying to have a conversation with him. Macbeth felt guilty about killing his friend and couldn't stop seeing him in his thoughts. This can be seen when Macbeth says "Thou canst not say I did it,/ Never shake thy gory locks at me" (Shakespeare 3.4 60-64). This quote shows how Macbeth's guilt is driving him to see this ghost and hence he is trying to talk to it. This is significant because it shows how harsh an effect guilt can have on one's mind and what it can make them do. Guilt leads to the id showing, which can bring about hallucination, frustration, Machiavellianism, as seen with Macbeth. Guilt drove him into darkness and forced him to commit horrible deeds.
Paranoia led MacBeth to his downfall because he was afraid someone would overpower him. For example, in the play it states that, "Stick deep; and in his royalty of nature/Reigns that which would be fear's: 'this much he dares" (3.1.54-55). This quote is important because MacBeth was fearful that Banquo would expose him, telling everyone that he was the person who murdered King Duncan. Also, MacBeth was afraid Banquo would overpower him and take the crown. MacBeth was paranoid by what Banquo could possibly do to him and saw that the only way he could prevent Banquo from exposing and overthrowing him was to murder Banquo and his son, Fleance. Although, after the murder of Banquo, Fleance ran away and MacBeth was being haunted by Banquo's ghost, creating more paranoia. Therefore, the paranoia MacBeth experienced contributed to his downfall.
Paranoia was Macbeth’s downfall because as he begins to believe that his evil actions will have consequences, he is easily manipulated. For example, in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, it states that, “ It will have blood; they say blood will have blood/ Stones have been known to move and trees to speak”(3.4.151-152). This quote foreshadows that the blood of a murder victim will seek out the blood of their murderer, and thus Macbeth’s murderous actions will be revealed. Stones were used to cover the bodies, in this quote, the stones are said to be moved, resulting in the discovery of the victims. The use of speaking trees, shows Macbeth’s fear of people discovering his murderous ways and revealing them to others. Macbeth is afraid of the consequences of people knowing he is a murderer. The resulting paranoia leads to his death, as he continues to kill those who he believes know his secret. In today’s society this quote is relevant because violence breeds more violence. This vicious cycle of violence will have no end. Paranoia builds with the fear of consequences.
Macbeth was constantly been driven by external forces which made the character strive for power and commit actions that the original Macbeth would have never done. One example of this can be seen with the prophecies foretold to him by the three witches. This eventually got the best of Macbeth by corrupting the characters mind and influences the murder of Duncan, Banquo and McDuff’s child and wife. This also causes Macbeth’s Id to be overcome by pride and paranoia, another reason to the savage murders present in the play. Another example of an external force which influenced Macbeth was his wife Lady Macbeth. This is because she initiated the murder of King Duncan, and also pressured Macbeth into doing so by calling Macbeth weak.
Macbeth does many things that cause him to feel guilty. Guilt is the cause of Macbeth's paranoia. It makes him reflect on his wrongful deeds which he felt were necessary at the time. His hallucinations are a result of his guilt, which was occupying his conscience, and cause him to be constantly paranoid of getting caught. Macbeth's guilt is the cause of his paranoia.
The debate was about whether Macbeth's thought process was clear or unclear. To reiterate; whether he was insane or not insane. It was argued that Macbeth was thinking clearly by stating that he was able to kill king Duncan, he moved to Dunsinane castle because it was more strategically located than his own, he killed the guards and managed to convince the others that it was out of loyalty to king Duncan, he hired murderers to kill Banquo and Macduff's family, and he was acting out of ambition and not insanity. It was argued that Macbeth was insane by stating that Macbeth had hallucinations of a floating dagger and a dead man, he wasn't able to frame the guards with Duncan's murder, the prophecies aren't certain and Macbeth puts too much trust in them, his paranoia led him to kill Banquo, and lastly, he asks his doctor to cure his wife of insanity–which isn't exactly possible.
Although Macbeth's actions may have been driven by external forces and he may have had ulterior motives, they were all still acts of his free will. In the play it states that, "All hail, Macbeth! That shalt be king hereafter."(1.3.53). Even though the witches informed him of this supposed prophecy, he is the one who felt compelled to fulfill it and to commit macabre acts in order to do so. The witches never explained to Macbeth how the prophecy would come to be realized so there is no way that Macbeth becoming king was the doing of predetermined fate. A major factor affecting Macbeth's actions was the desires of his wife, Lady Macbeth. It is clear that this was a great motivation for him, especially when she questions his courage and manliness. Macbeth could have ignored these influences and his desires for power but he instead choose to act upon his one and only goal. In addition, he chose to take excessive and unnecessary measures in order to become king, such as killing Macduff's entire family.
Macbeth’s thought process was unclear because he was constantly juxtaposing himself. In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth Lady Macbeth states “Why, worthy thane, / You do unbend you noble strength, to think/ So brainsickly of things” (Shakespeare 2.2. 57-60). This quotes explains how Macbeth was very strong willed and machiavellian at the start, when he killed Duncan, now after he murdered Duncan he is very scared and paranoid. A complete paradigm shift has occurred in Macbeth. He constantly switches mindsets from one of power and strength to one of paranoia and feebleness. This shift also alters his desires from the desire to be an honest one to be a man of power willing to do anything. This is significant because in society people often act different around different sets of people. For example if one is surrounded by elders one will act different than if one is with a group of friends. This causes people to switch between mindsets of respect to one of carefreeness and juxtapose themselves. A difference in thoughts can also result in unclear thoughts and unclear desires. Macbeth’s unclear thought process is caused by his constant juxtaposition and paradigm shifts.
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