In William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, there is a constant struggle for power by Macbeth that leads to many problems, not only for himself, but for the very nature of Scotland as well. While examining the play Macbeth, we will prove how Macbeth’s ambition for power will affect the natural order of the world and show how he is an unjust ruler.
In the beginning of the play Macbeth, Macbeth was viewed as a righteous and brave man; and had helped his cousin the king in stopping a rebellious thane. In the next scene Macbeth and Banquo meet three witches that foretell Macbeth’s future by saying “All hail Macbeth! Thane of Glamis! All hail Macbeth Thane of Cawdor! All hail Macbeth that shalt be king after!” (I, iii, 51-53) After hearing this Macbeth and Banquo do not think much about it for Macbeth was not Thane of Glamis, or king, and simply shrugged it off. Later in the play, Macbeth meets Duncan the king and he awards Macbeth with the title of the thane of Cawdor. This is what starts Macbeth’s ambition and his fall from grace. For now, Macbeth has realized that the witches’ prophecy was coming true. Expecting that he would become King; for during those times the strongest thane would be the next in line for the throne, and that the witches’ prophecy said that he would become king. Howeve,r Duncan announces that his next heir to the throne would be his son Malcolm.
This event causes Macbeth to become truly ambitious, for he had thought that he would become king through Duncan, but has realized that he would have to get it by other means. This is the first event that really causes Macbeth’s ambition to get in the way of his morals; for ambition “if it is stopped and cannot have his way, it becomes adust, and thereby malign and venomous.” (Bacon) In the next scene of the play, Macbeth has sent a letter to his wife Lady Macbeth. In the letter he tells her about the witches and their prophecy. Lady Macbeth, during this act, is far more ambitious than her husband Macbeth, and when he finally arrives back, she tries to convince Macbeth to kill Duncan for the crown. For she knows that Macbeth is “too full o’th’ milk of human kindness…”(I, iv, 17) to do it by himself. In the argument, Macbeth, who has still not let ambition overtake him yet, is still a righteous and honorable man, and gives many explanations about how he can’t and won’t kill Duncan. In the quote by Machiavelli, it states that “For whereas in general the conspirator has to fear before the execution of his plot , in this case he has also to fear sequel to the crime; because on account of it he has the people for an enemy, and thus cannot hope for any escape” (XIX) Macbeth realizes this, for he knows that if he kills Duncan the fallout of the deed would not stop there and he would have to commit more crimes to cover it up, and by doing so he would lose the faith of the people and become an unjust ruler.
However, Lady Macbeth does not know this, and she asks the spirits...