Lady Macbeth had it easy. She just saw spots on her skin because of her guilt. I have panic attacks for no reason other than… well because I really do not know.
When she had her bout of hysteria (which by the way, a synonym for hysteria is panic), Lady Macbeth literally went into hysterics and saw spots on her arms and hands because she felt guilty for the murder of King Duncan committed by her husband to gain the crown in Scotland at her urging and devise.
I on the other hand have a husband who has not committed murder – or anything for that matter – for gain; yet I still have panic attacks. Hmmmm…. I wonder….. Maybe, like Lady Macbeth, I create my own fear. Maybe I ‘let’ myself have these panic attacks to fill a void for something that I’ve never had before and therefore cannot explain my fear. Lady Macbeth then created her hysteria because of her guilt and was so stressed by the fact that she is the instrument of a King’s murder, she sleep walks and hallucinates seeing blood on her hand, startles at the clock striking and remembers her husband’s reluctance at her idea of regicide.
Let’s entertain a thought for a moment: Lady Macbeth is a prominent figure in Shakespeare’s play of the same name (surname that is) and backs her husband fully in his iniquitous deed. Well, she actually nags him into committing murder. I mean, she lays the daggers for him and his men after drugging King Duncan and his men at a banquet. But later in the play, performing her job as hostess for her husband’s men, at a similar banquet that King Duncan was killed, she is nervous. She becomes “stressed” for lack of a better word. Does she propel herself into hysteria? Or does Lady Macbeth have her first panic attack in the middle of the night?
Could it be that my panic (and subsequent attacks) and Lady Macbeth’s hysteria are one and the same? I mean, not in the sense that I’ve committed murder, or am going to for that matter. But same in the sense that my panic and Lady Macbeth’s hysteria is self created? That we cause ourselves our own stress?
Master Shakespeare, I thank thee for you maketh me understand myself.