Mecbeth and our Society

By: Jawad ul Hassan
In this study, I aim to examine one of the greatest masterpieces “Macbeth” a tragedy by the most influential dramatist of the 16th century, William Shakespeare. In this writing, I focus on the character analysis of the character Macbeth from the play Macbeth looking at the following resources which are his conversations, actions, remarks of his close friends, circle, and acquaintances, and especially the remarks of researchers and critics.
Furthermore, In the play, the character has different dimensions as is common to everyone, in his behavior but l look at his a certain kind of alteration from his righteous, brave, and kind behavior to his corrupt, dubious, evil-like character as a resultant of foreshadowing of three weird sisters using the psychoanalytic theory of Sigmund Freud proposed in the 20th century.
Character analysis:
Macbeth is the center figure in the Play Macbeth by Shakespeare. In this study, as every study pursues a solution to a problem I also seek to know the answer to one question how the foreshadowing of three weird sisters overwhelmed him and caused him to fall.
Let me delve into the ocean of Macbeth and fetch pearls of wisdom to us about how much foretelling affects human behavior. So, at the beginning of the play, in act-1 a sergeant approaches the palace of King Duncan and informs them about the condition of the battlefield and praises Macbeth in these words that he deserves the name, Macbeth, he fought bravely and extraordinarily and breaks the rows of the army of the enemy until he reached out to the point of slaves and beheaded the rebel and hung his head over the battlement. It shows the bravery and mastery of Macbeth on the battlefield. In acts- 1-4 in the palace of the king, the king adores him in these words “O my worthiest cousin, he is peerless kinsman, the sin of my ingratitude even now was heavy on me”. These words portray a great respect and love for him. In Act 1, 4 the king shows the desire to be invited by Macbeth to his house and it is accepted happily.
In 1.5 his wife lady Macbeth expresses her emotions toward her husband in these words
Her famous line “Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness” reflects her belief that Macbeth lacks the ruthlessness required for political ambition.
Let’s look at his friend’s remark on him. In act. 1.2″ Brave Macbeth- well he deserves that name. ” By looking at these remarks of his circle, nobility, and wife I conclude that how much he was kind and brave at some point in his age. This is one side of the coin. Let’s look at his other side, the side of darkness and evilness.
However, after conquering the battlefield Macbeth and his friend on their way home meet with three weird sisters: a supernatural element that foretells about the future of some characters in this play through their divine power of foreshadowing. Such a fowl and fair day I have never seen says, Macbeth.
At this meeting, weird sisters reveal some future of Macbeth and welcome him and congrats him one by one with different titles. ( Hail to you the thane of games
Hail to you the thane of Cawdor
Hail to you the king of Scotland ) (1- 3).
On the way home, he comes to know about being the thane of cowdor and it pleases him so much.
This is the stage of the feeling of becoming the king of Scotland. At 1.3, he sits lonely and ruptures in his imagination and says “The greatest is behind to come.” Macbeth. It shows the effect of the prophecies of the three weird sisters that aroused in him. In 1. 6, when the king arrives at his home, his wife and he welcomes the king cheerfully but in the same act he speaks himself that stars “hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires” and says ” the eyes wink at the hand, yet let that be which the eyes fear when it is done to see”. At 2.1, Macbeth kills King Duncan with a dagger in his own home.
Moreover, Before and after killing Duncan, his conscience keeps knocking at the door of his mind by creating hallucinations, evoking fear and indecisiveness. For instance, he tells about the king in 1.7 ” Duncan is so sweet and meek, had been clear in his office, that his virtues will plead like angels trumpet tongue against the damnation of his taking off”. It advocates the virtuous nature of Macbeth but at that time his wife helps the evil to be dominant in this way by taunting and drawing a bright future in his eyes. She keeps supporting and encouraging him to collect courage, stand up, and go into the room of the king and kill him. In 1.7 For instance, Macbeth answers a question to his wife in these words when she tries to persuade him to kill Duncan. ” I dare do all that may become a man, who dares do more is none”. After killing his virtues speaks in those words” This is a sorry sight, sleep no more, Macbeth murdered the sleep, therefore, Cawdor shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more” expressing that his conscience still works and states that he repents and regrets on his doing. the lines mentioned above depict the whole story of evilness evoked in him for becoming the king of Scotland after meeting weird sisters even though he knows it is wrong and against the values. Even though he knows it is immoral and he deviates the societal norms still he goes on that way and kills his friend just because he feels he is a threat in his way of achieving goals and this too is a result of the prophecy of three weird sisters. For example, in the meeting at 1.3 the weird sisters exclaim in these words about his friend Banquo” lesser than Macbeth and yet greater, not so happy, yet much happier, you shall get kings, though you be none”. Macbeth orders some soldiers the murder his friend just based on the above prophecies and in that way to achieve his goals, he leaves no one even he kills women as in 4.2 he orders to burn the family of Malcolm: a nobleman.
In addition, just because all these deeds, are based on foretelling, he commits severe mistakes. As a result, he loses the glory of being a worthy soldier, a nobleman, and the respect of his people who admire him greatly.
For instance, in 4.4, Malcolm says about Macbeth” he is luxurious, false, deceitful, malicious, smacking of every sin and devilish Macbeth”. It shows anger and the abhorrence of people toward Macbeth. Moreover, in Act 5, the army of Malcolm invades and kills Macbeth on the spot, and announces that they once again save the glory and splendor of Scotland.


As we discussed the tragic flow of the Shakespearean Macbeth we came to realize that Macbeth as a result of his unbridled wishes and desires aroused from his inner world; the world which is full of impulsive, instinctive desires navigate through Freud’s ID-stimulated by three Weird sisters ironically by the evilness of his self that is ID.
Macbeth’s ID according to the study is very strong and it surpasses his ego and superego at the last. Consequently, he faces a tragic downfall at the last of the Play.
Moreover, we followed the psychoanalytic theory of Freud, and he proposed that every individual’s self consists of these three components: ID, ego, and superego. When one frees his ID unbridled and left without any question by the Ego and superego, the ID contaminates the self and destroys it and creates chaos in society by doing whatever is prohibited and constrained by morals and society. As a result, behaviors become stagnant, personalities become cold and it harms us and becomes hazardous for our surrounding community, and the world.
Furthermore, The same thing goes on with Macbeth in this play, just because of his unplanned and unchecked ambitions and strong ID to replace King Duncan. Even though he has a strong ID to overthrow Duncan and owns his Place his morals values and virtues could stop him from doing so but unfortunately, his ID wins and his superego fails to get him in its way.

How it is relevant to our society:

To some extent, there are exemplary characters related to the character of Macbeth in our society. It is the nature of human beings to be superior to everyone in terms of wealth, power, health, popularity, and so on and that does not over here, everyone wants to be satisfied with what they desire and wants to be contented with their status, power and place in society. And this state of mind, in societies, creates a sense of competition. When the sense of competition arises, it puts people in a race, and that race snatches peace love harmony, and fraternity from a society. Consequently, it blows into the fire of frustration, disharmony distress, and depression among people. I want to be specific in this sense. There are many examples related to Macbeth but it is not necessary to be absolutely the same in the essence.
Generally speaking, almost a great population of our society and the whole world in the modern era falls into this category. Many reasons support my claim. The main reason behind it is that we are slaves of ourselves, and the supporters and the lovers of individualism. We chained ourselves in the prison of self and the cave of individualism. As Macbeth crosses all the limits just for the completion of his desires and to wench the thirst of, our society, people do the same thing, and as a result, it becomes a Worldly hell for people.
In addition, If I fit a relevant personality to the personality of Macbeth, the best examples would be the famous corrupt political figures such as Asif Zardari, Imran Khan, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, and others but in this study, I compare only to Mr ten Percent
because he falls satisfactorily in this category. He falls into this category due to these reasons; the number one reason is based on an allegation of murdering his wife just for the sake of political power as Macbeth does for becoming the king of Scotland. Another reason behind my claim is his nickname Mr ten Percent because he is famous for corruption, giving seats in government offices based on taking 10 % brides from applicants. Due to his corrupt behavior as Macbeth, he got Mr Ten Percent as his nickname. Therefore, I chose him as my subject of study.
At the last, here in my society, there are piles of such personalities sucking people like parasites.


In this study, I aim to explore the psychological aspects of Macbeth: that is alterations from a virtuous state to a vicious state, from good to bad behavior, and from kind to cruel attitude of Macbeth in the response to a foretelling of weird sisters through using the most important theory of psychoanalytic by Sigmund Freud in the 20th century. Moreover, with the help of the exploration of the play Macbeth, through the lenses of psychoanalytic theory, I find out that the character Macbeth has a strong unbridled ID a vulnerable ego, and a wavering superego due to this his ID gets victory over his ego and superego and faces a worse downfall at the last of the play.
Apart from this, in this study, I focus on only one aspect of the play: the psychological aspects of the character Macbeth of the play Macbeth. Lastly, I conclude my study with these lines if one does not control his/her instinctive desires and leaves them without surveillance, it becomes the cause of disgrace, shame, regrets, and failures.

About admin


Check Also

GBDMA hosts provincial Stakeholders’ Workshop to review progress under GLOF-II Project

Gilgit: The Gilgit-Baltistan Disaster Management Authority (GBDMA) in collaboration with the GLOF-II Project, organized a one-day Provincial Level Stakeholders’ Communication ...