The Lust For Power In Macbeth By William Shakespeare

1254 words - 5 pages

The Lust for Power in Macbeth by William Shakespeare *Works Cited Not Included
Macbeth's destiny and his lust for power, confirmed by the Three Witches and Lady Macbeth, leads to destruction. Every act that Macbeth commits effects the kingdom as a whole. Macbeth's indecisiveness and his understanding of success cause this destruction. This lust for power leads Macbeth, as it would all men, to an evil that exist in everyone. It is his destiny to fail.
The tragedy of Macbeth opens up with him returning home from a victorious military battle, displaying his honor and excellence. This is, also the first time he is presented with the opportunity for power. His success covered him with glory in defense of the crown. Macbeth is busily basking in his own glory and soaking up credit when Duncan basically steals his spotlight from right over his head, proclaiming Malcolm, Duncan's son, as the heir-apparent. This action also belittles Macbeth's achievement, since the procession of the throne is not necessarily dictated by bloodlines. Duncan is basically announcing that Macbeth, while noble, is inferior to his son Malcolm. This is where Duncan provokes Macbeth to hate him and also points out what Macbeth must do to become King. Duncan even tempts Macbeth, by pronouncing him as the Thane of Cawdor. This gives Macbeth a taste of power and he begins to have a desire for more. This desire or ambition is his fatal flaw. Shakespeare, by using Macbeth as a guide, shows that even the honorable men can fall into the hands of evil just like everyone else. No one is safe from his or her own ambitions of power and success. It is clear that Macbeth ends up a far more brutal and simpler man then he begins. Robert Heilman says " When we share the point of view of Hamlet, we experience the fear of evil action and of evil inaction", showing how the reader is able to relate to the feelings that Hamlet has throughout the tragedy. How can one of such honor, fall into something as evil as the murder of King Duncan?
Macbeth's feels that his destiny is to become King and rule with all the power that goes with kingship. The three witches on his way back to the kingdom, prophesied that he would rise to kingship. They said "All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis" (I, 3, 48), and then as the thane of Cawdor "All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor" (I, 3, 49). At this point in the play Macbeth had just become thane of Glamis, and the thane of Cawdor is still alive. Then, the witches greeted Macbeth as the King of Scotland saying "All hail, Macbeth! That shalt be King hereafter" (I, 3, 50). This is the point in the tragedy where Macbeth starts to think as a villain. If the witches had never greeted him as King on Scotland, then he would probably never have contemplated killing Duncan in the first place. At first, he believes that he will need to kill King Duncan. Though at the end of...

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