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War And Lust Of Power In Macbeth By William Shakespeare

1007 words - 4 pages

Considered one of the darkest and most influential of the tragedies, William Shakespeare’s Macbeth tells of the effects one suffers due to war and the lust for power. Macbeth himself is led to believe that he deserving and destined to become the king of Scotland, and allows his thoughts and actions to become corrupted due to his ambition. While Macbeth loses himself in his conspiracies to murder his king and his friends, the character of Macduff shows true strength and honor throughout the play. Though both Macduff and Macbeth lose family, friends, and suffer from the state of war their country is in, Macduff rises above the selfishness that Macbeth gives in to, and ultimately is able to bring peace back to his country. In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macduff shows how intentions truly define a person through his consistent demonstration of cleverness, valor, and faithfulness to his country.
The tragic events that occur in Macbeth begin with the murder of Scotland’s beloved king, Duncan. When Macduff discovers his king dead in his bed he expresses true grief and sorrow, appalled that anybody could have the heart to kill such an innocent man. When Macbeth, trying to avoid blame for the murder he committed, said that he murdered the King’s guards out of grief, Macduff was the only one of the noblemen to sense that Macbeth’s actions didn’t quite make sense and asks, “Wherefore did you so?” (2.3.109). Macduff initially seems to believe that the King’s own sons were responsible for this heinous act, but is hesitant to fully trust Macbeth. Instead of attending the royal feast to honor Macbeth as Scotland’s new king, he returns home to Fife where he can stay away from the place of his King’s death (2.4.36). Macduff’s absence also removes fear of suspicion or threat from Macbeth’s mind until he learns of Macduff’s next plans and, as Piotr Sadowski states in his literary criticism, is “dramatically necessary” (Sadowski).
After the murder of Banquo, Macduff’s suspicions are all but confirmed and he decides to travel to England to request help in dethroning the tyrant Macbeth. Lennox further proves this when he states, “Thither Macduff/ Is gone to pray the holy King, upon his aid/ To wake Northumberland and warlike Siward” (3.6.29-31). Not only is Macduff’s skepticism proving him to be more intelligent than his fellow noblemen, but braver as well. In the beginning of the play, the former Thane of Cawdor was caught in acts of treason. Upon learning this information, King Duncan declares, “No more that Thane of Cawdor shall deceive/ Our bosom interest: go pronounce his present death” (1.2.63-64). Macduff knows that plotting to overthrow a king is a risk, and he takes the risk willingly so that he might restore peace to his beloved country. Leaving for England to begin with is no easy task either. Macduff leaves behind his family, unprotected against the oppressive Macbeth who decides to attack the “traitorous” Macduff’s home and murder “his wife, his...

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