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Parallels Between Macduff And Macbeth Essay

802 words - 3 pages


Parallels Between Macduff and Macbeth

In humans, greed will often play a more pronounced role in their actions then morals. In the Shakespearian play Macbeth we see how far greed and ambition has crushed the stability of Scotland and destroyed the lives of multiple lords and innocents. At first we see Macbeth as the glorious hero who “unseam’d” (1.2.23) the traitor Macdonwald in the defense of his King and Country, yet turns into a king who is powerless and paranoid. The downfall of the usurper is enabled by Macduff who decapitates Macbeth at the end of the play. We see that Macduff is actually following a route similar to that of Macbeth, and is the one whom greed and the witches would have chosen to manipulate to his harm next. Macduff filled with anger and grief would be the next catalyst of chaos in Scotland.

Shakespeare tells us through the play that greed can bring down the greatest amongst us. This is shown no clearer than in the case of “Brave Macbeth” (1.2.17) as we see him “carve out his” (1.2.20) path to “unseam” (1.2.23) the traitor Macdonwald and prove his courage. He was rewarded for these deeds with the thaneship of Cawdor and the renown of his soldiers and the other lords of the court. The three witches, however, soon show the true power of greed as they “win [him] to [his] harm…with honest trifles” (1.3.26, 28) and he becomes a paranoid despot grasping to regain control of his life and his realm. Eventually the greed and ambition for greatness and power led him to become a “dwarfish thief…in a giant’s robe” (5.2.18, 20) whose men “move only in command, nothing in love.” (5.2.17) Most of the Scottish lords of the time would think themselves above such ruthless need for power, perhaps Macduff most of all, but would not Macbeth have seen himself as such at the beginning of the play? No one can predict whom greed can twist to evil and who is immune to its charm.

In the film adaptation of Macbeth we see Donaldbain approaching the witches during the denouement, but perhaps Macduff would have been a better choice for greed to lay its cold claim upon. Macduff tread a similar path to Macbeth, in executing the traitor of their battles, fierce loyalty to their king and country, and in return being trusted confidants of...

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