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Machiavelli In Macbeth Essay

2023 words - 8 pages

Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, applies the Machiavellian principles of how princes should properly conduct themselves which is directly applied through Duncan, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and Malcolm.
Through analytic research, this paper will examine, as well as, compare and contrast the Machiavellian principles to the characters in Macbeth. The focus will include the influence of his principles, how they affect the characters, behaviors, and if they fit the description of a proper prince.
William Shakespeare wrote Macbeth with the influence of Machiavellian principles in accordance with his characters. This statement can be supported by the characteristics he carefully coordinated within their actions and decisions. Certain principles from Machiavelli are presented in character descriptions included in criticism novels. The principles that connect with Shakespeare's characters presented by Machiavelli can predict how a prince's reign will be spent.
He analyses crucial philosophies which are connected to the characters' actions. Of the utmost important lies of choosing to be loved than feared and avoiding hatred at all costs. A prince who balances clemency and cruelty is able to find times appropriate of their usage. How a prince should conduct himself to gain power and morale is a thread Shakespeare carefully incorporated from Machiavelli. "Those who have obtained a principality by wickedness " (Machiavelli 1) is also seen in Macbeth's strongest characters. Through Machiavelli’s applied principles in the play, the behavior conducted by a proper prince is able to be analyze by the readers. .
The influence of Machiavelli's principle in Macbeth's characters, Shakespeare uses the direct application of Machiavelli’s principles in Macbeth through his characters from The Prince. However, each character represents each principle differently. Macbeth utilizes Machiavelli's principle of attaining the state of Scotland through wickedness. Shakespeare has Duncan misuse major principles in a minor manner. Through Malcolm, Muir states "a new era by bestowing new honours" (15) is created.
King Duncan has the throne when the audience is first introduced to Scotland's kingdom. Shakespeare's first influence of Machiavelli's principles are observed in scene two. Bloom describes Duncan as "a generous, loving, and nurturing king" (25). Duncan was deceived by Macdonwald, a traitor and then-Thane of Cawdor, because he instilled too much trust in him. This violates Machiavelli's principle of love then feared and his improper usage of clemency. According to Machiavelli, "every prince ought to desire to be considered clement and not cruel. Nevertheless he ought to take care not to misuse this clemency" (1). Duncan continues to "misuse" his clemency in his reign. By placing too much trust in Macdonwald, a rebellion breaks out when he gets the first opportunity....

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