Essay On Bipolar Disorder In Macbeth

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According to The Kim Foundation, about one in every four adults currently has a mental illness. Furthermore, 5.7 million Americans suffer from bipolar disorder specifically. Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness in which one experiences extreme changes in emotion, often feeling both elated and depressed at times. In Shakespeare’s famous play Macbeth, the Scottish general Macbeth’s varied emotions can be considered comparable to individuals currently living with bipolar disorder, even though the actual medical condition was not yet diagnosable. Although some may argue that Macbeth has no mental disorder due to a lack of symptoms, when comparing Macbeth’s manic and depressive actions to behaviors exhibited by those with bipolar …show more content…
To start off, one symptom of a manic episode is “poor judgment (“Bipolar Disorder”).” An example of this is when Macbeth says “I am settled and bend up each corporal agent to this terrible feat. Away, and mock the time with fairest show. False face must hide what the false heart doth know (Shakespeare 230).” In this scene, Macbeth makes it clear that he is willing to kill and lie in order to become king, based off of what three women whom he has never met before told him in the woods. Deceit and murder alone are heinous crimes, but doing so in order to fulfill a destiny a random stranger predicted is generally a bad idea. In Macbeth, it is clear that Macbeth did not take a very long time to come to this conclusion either. He decides within a matter of days to kill the king and take the throne. This is not the best idea Macbeth could have had, and is a clear presentation of his poor judgment due to bipolar disorder. An additional indication of a manic episode is one experiencing “grandiose beliefs (“Bipolar Disorder”).” One such grandiose belief that Macbeth holds is evident in the statement “… under him my genius is rebuked… (Shakespeare 246).” Macbeth thinks he is greater than others, including his previously close friend, Banquo. Instead of enjoying Banquo’s company, Macbeth is exaggerating his own abilities and expressing the belief that Banquo is smothering him and holding him back. This elevation of status that Macbeth bestows upon himself is a sign of his grandiose beliefs. Lastly, an additional bipolar disorder symptom is “an increase in goal-directed activity (American Psychiatric Association 124).” One activity Macbeth fanatically engages in is becoming king and maintaining his kingship. This is clear when Macbeth says “Upon my head they placed a fruitless crown and put a barren scepter in my grip, thence to be

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