Analysis Of The Similarities Between François Duvalier And Macbeth

1440 words - 6 pages

“Macbeth”, one of William Shakespeare’s most emotional and powerful tragedies, revolves around Macbeth’s betrayal, power, and murder. Although admired as a fierce warrior at first, Macbeth, dictator of 11th century Scotland, reigns maliciously, resulting in an uprising of the commoners under the command of Malcolm, the rightful King of Scotland. Macbeth betrays the trust King Duncan awards him and while the he is vulnerable, Macbeth murders the king in his sleep. Upon murdering Duncan, Macbeth’s sanity slips and the mad king proceeds to murder innocent people, including his best friend, Banquo, under the pretext of securing his rule. Galvanized by the king’s madness, the Scottish thanes and Malcolm gather an army and lay siege to Dunsinane, the hill upon which Macbeth’s castle stands. Macbeth is cornered and killed, Malcolm is named King, and order is restored to Scotland. Macbeth exhibits many of the characteristics common to dictators of the 21st century and his reign can be closely compared to that of the Haitian dictator François Duvalier (1907–1971). Like Macbeth, Duvalier was well admired by the commoners for his innovative ideas for Haiti. However, upon his ascent to power, the dictator abused his power and gave orders to murder over 30,000 people ("François Duvalier" 1). Consequently, Duvalier loses valuable supporters and allies and leaves Haiti in chaos. Macbeth is most similar to Haitian dictator François Duvalier because they are both ambitious and liked at first, they abuse their newfound power, and ultimately fall from power and perish alone as consequence of poor decisions while in power.
Macbeth and François Duvalier are closely related due to shared ambition and an initial endorsement by the commoners. Macbeth, begins as thane of Glamis and a soldier in Scotland’s army in the war against Norway. When Captain of the Scottish is brought dying to King Duncan, the Captain praises Macbeth for his barbaric murder of the traitor Macdonwald. According to the Captain, “…brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name – disdaining Fortune, with his brandish’d steel… like Valor’s minion carv’d out his passage…” (I.2. 16-19). The valiant Macbeth presented in the words of the Captain differs greatly from the Macbeth who later murders his best friend and innocent children. The Captain’s opinion indicates that Macbeth was admired for his skill in battle by the Scottish soldiers and thanes. In addition, Macbeth admits that his greatest fault is his ambition, which is the reason Macbeth is not satisfied with his position as Thane of Cawdor and in part responsible for his murder of Duncan so that Macbeth could become king. Like Macbeth, at the beginning of his political career François Duvalier had a solid base of support in the countryside, and his campaign vowed to rebuild Haiti and give it a fresh start ("François Duvalier Biography” 1). Duvalier graduated in 1934 from the University of Haiti School of Medicine and during this time became part of...

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