Corruption and Power

Topics: Macbeth, Corruption, Murder Pages: 2 (519 words) Published: March 13, 2013
Betrayal is often depicted in literature. Treachery often comes from unexpected places. However, in Macbeth the place where treachery comes from is not so surprising. Macbeth’s betrayal of his friends and countrymen shows the theme behind the book. Power corrupts even the best of men. His corruption and lust for power leads him to these betrayals. Three separate betrayals occurred in Macbeth: the betrayal of King Duncan a leader, of a friend Banquo and finally his countrymen Macduff’s family.

The betrayal of Kind Duncan was the first to occur. Murder of a leader is not generally personal but just a means to gain power or cause power to shift. While Duncan was a sort of friend to Macbeth, he did not pay this attention. Macbeth merely saw him as an obstacle to overcome on his rise to power. This murder was not based on hatred but more of lust. Macbeth wanted the power Duncan had. His only choice was to remove him from it permanently. Out of the three betrayals this is least personal. However, this is the beginning of the showcase that power will cause people to do evil things.

The murder of Banquo is much more personal than Duncan’s murder. Banquo is a close friend of Macbeth. This shows the intensity of the corruption that Macbeth has undergone as a person. Banquo is murdered due to his knowledge. Banquo knows of the prophecies stated by the witches. This causes Macbeth to fear him. If anyone else finds out about the prophecies Macbeth becomes a suspect of Duncan’s murder. This means his newly acquired power is in danger while Banquo lives. Since Macbeth is enjoying his new power he can’t allow Banquo to live. Little by little Macbeth is losing his humanity. His power is slowly corrupting him to the point of where his decisions will be his downfall.

The last killing issued by Macbeth is the most personal one. It is now not an issue of power but more of disrespect. Macduff did not come to Macbeth’s orders and also fled the country. His...
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