Macbeth and Thomas Hobbes

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Macbeth/ French Revolution
September 27, 2011
“A populace never rebels from passion for attack, but from impatience of suffering” (Edmund Burke). William Shakespeare created the play of Macbeth that revealed many acts of rebellion. A couple of philosophers during the 1600-1700’s have different views about the performances of rebellion being played by the characters in Macbeth. In the eyes of Thomas Hobbes, he would find Macbeth’s act of disobedience completely unacceptable. On the other hand, Jean Rausseau would consider Macduff’s rebellion as justifiable.

Thomas Hobbes would not forgive Macbeth’s tyranny act of killing King Duncan, because Macbeth betrayed the word of God for his own good. After the stormy night and listening to the mysterious messages being provided from the three witches, Macbeth believes the prophecy and goes to Lady Macbeth and says, “I am settled, and bend up. Each corporal agent to this terrible feat” (Shakespeare I.vii.79-80). Macbeth is persuaded by Lady Macbeth to assassinate King Duncan and become the new King of Scotland. Despite the fact that Macbeth is the Kinsman for Duncan, he literally backstabs King Duncan with a dagger when he is asleep. During the very religious times when Kings were chosen by God Hobbes says, “Greedy people tend to make decisions that would only benefit themselves, not the entire country” (Hobbes). Thomas Hobbes would find Macbeth’s act of rebellion as the most greediest performance ever accomplished. Hobbes would make Macbeth follow the rules of God by punishing him with his greatest fear. Thomas would sabotage Macbeth because he defied the divine right by murdering the monarch to become the new ruler.

Jean Rousseau would accept Macduff’s actions of trying to overthrow his government by killing Macbeth. As Macduff travels to England to visit Malcolm he tells him, “Let us rather hold fast the mortal sword and, like good men, bestride our downfall’n birthdom”...
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