Macbeth's Relationships And The Impact Of Power

1593 words - 6 pages

To become powerful, is to become corrupt and The Tragedy of Macbeth is a prime example. In William Shakespeare's tragic tale, a young noblemen soon becomes corrupt when he is given the opportunity to become king. His need for power and safety drives him to corruption, ultimately killing off anyone who stands in his path: innocent or not. Throughout the play, many characters portray the impact power has on a relationship: Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, Banquo and Macbeth, Macduff and Macbeth and many more. While all these characters were affected by power in the play, Banquo and Macbeth's relationship best demonstrates the effect of power. By examining the effect that power can have on relationships in The Tragedy of Macbeth, it is clear that Banquo and Macbeth's relationship represent best what the impact of power on friendship can be like. This ultimately illustrates that the need for power can drive people to take extreme measures in capturing that power.
In Act One of The Tragedy of Macbeth, Shakespeare introduces the reader to the friendship shared between Banquo and Macbeth.The reader sees that they are friends, experiencing some of the most important scenes in the play together. In act one scene 1, Macbeth and Banquo are both encountered by the Three Witches. The witches give Macbeth two prophecies: Macbeth shall be first Thane of Cawdor and then King. In the mean time, Banquo was given the prophecy that his children shall be future kings. Macbeth and Banquo's relationship starts out strong at first, but their friendship fails as power comes into effect. In Act one Macbeth and Banquo converse over the prophecies the three Weird Sisters have granted them. Macbeth tells Banquo, "Your children shall be kings (1: 3: 89). Banquo in return tells Macbeth, "You shall be king" (1: 3: 90). The scene ends of with Macbeth concluding that "Till then, enough- come, friends (1.4.175). This part of the play clearly demonstrates that even though Macbeth and Banquo's relationships has started out strong, the notion of him gaining power has negatively impacted his friendship with Banquo. By Macbeth and Banquo's conversation, we can conclude that they are both in awe of the news they have just received. Neither Macbeth nor Banquo can believe that Macbeth shall be king or that Banquo's children will be kings. Despite the news, Macbeth tries to mask the awe and excitement and by explaining to his friends that whatever shall happen, shall happen when the time comes. He concludes by calling everyone around his friend. The power has reached Macbeth's head and that is why he is trying to mask his awe.
By the middle of the play, we see the lust for power gaining more and more control in Macbeth. Macbeth lies to Banquo in Act 2, demonstrating how the power has affected him. In the mean time, Banquo appears to remain loyal to his friend. In act two, scene one, Banquo and Macbeth have another conversation connecting back to the three sisters. Now that Macbeth has been...

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