Human Psyche In Macbeth

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How does a comparative study of texts heighten your understanding of the dichotomy of the human psyche?

While studying and comparing the positive notion of creation and the detrimental effect destruction has on an individuals being we begin to comprehend the complicated and dichotomous nature of human consciousness. William Shakespeare’s Elizabethan drama Macbeth (1606) and the Romantic poems of William Blake ‘London’ (1794) and ‘Human Abstract’ (1794) each validate the convoluted emotions of love and betrayal whilst exploring their different influences due to their cultural context.

If an individual pursues or becomes consumed by the idea of love the destruction of themselves or others, emotional and or physical being is inevitable. As
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In the first Act of the play Macbeth shows his loyalty to Duncan on the battlefield and is rewarded with the title Thane of Cawdor. This title has been stripped from another noble who was condemned for treason. The irony of this reward is that Macbeth, the new Thane of Cawdor will also betray Duncan. Shakespeare uses this irony to explore the conflicts of the human psyche regarding loyalty and betrayal. One man can display elements of both. In Lady Macbeth’s sleepwalking scene Shakespeare demonstrates the destruction when Man acts against the virtues of the human psyche. “Come out, damned spot! Out, I command you!”. Lady Macbeth is tormented by the knowledge that she has acted in an uncivilized way by being a party to the killing of friends in the act of seeking power. In all of these Lady Macbeth demonstrates betrayal. The audience sees destruction betrayal has on both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Macbeth is haunted by the headless Banquo, the dagger (which signifies his bloody, chosen path) and Lady Macbeth’s sleep walking and hand washing and finally her suicides. All of these dramatic effects reinforce the destructive consequences of …show more content…
Blake reveals that contrary to what many believed, he saw a place where Man had physically demonstrated the betrayal of what a civilized city should be. In ‘London’ he reveals the negative side of the city, “every face [he] meet/Marks of weakness; marks of woe… mind-forged manacles [he] hear[s].” By stripping away, the Romantic image of London as a powerful and civilized city, which other poets of his era conveyed, the sense of Blake’s poem mirrors Lady Macbeth stripping away her femininity exposing her true motivations. “Unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe topful of direst cruelty!” This scene not only reveals her consciousness of betrayal of her womanhood but also shows that she has betrayed her obligation as a hostess whose role it is to ensure protection and comfort, especially to the king (Duncan) who is kin to her husband. By considering the betrayal by Lady Macbeth with Blake’s insight into the betrayal by a so called civilized society, of the young woman in his poem ‘London’ “How the youthful Harlots curse” we are better able to understand the true nature of the human psyche. In ‘London’ Blake brings the poem to its climax at the moment when the cycle of misery recommences, in the form of the beginning of a new human life, a baby which should be born into love, is

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