Tuesday March 22nd, 2011
The Power Struggle Against The Chain of Being
In Shakespeare’s tragedy of Macbeth, there are constant battles throughout the plot that can be identified with the main conflict. These battles surround our protagonist Macbeth as his life turns upside-down in disorder. These battles started when he chose to act quickly on the prophecy that he would become king. After the gruesome murder of King Duncan, his destiny then lied with the choices he made then after. Little did he know that his actions would lead him, and the world around him to madness as the very balance of the universe was disordered. The Chain of Being was constantly being challenged resulting in chaos because of Macbeth’s lust for superior power as well as the struggle to restore balance back to the universe.
Macbeth and his selfish needs conflicted with the Chain of Being and the superior power it held. Instead of choosing to continue down his normal path, Macbeth follows a different path when he realizes how much power he is capable of obtaining. This path would lead him to be king, the highest possible power on earth. He had already been given the tittles, “Thane of Glamis” and “Thane of Cawdor” by the king, but because of his avid greed to become more powerful he was not satisfied with just that. He would let nothing get in the way, “[Malcolm] The prince of Cumberland! This is a step on which I must fall down or else o’erleap, for in my way it lies.” (Shakespeare.1.4.55-57). He knew the next in line to the throne would be Duncan’s older son, Malcolm and so Macbeth reveals to the reader in an aside, his greedy side and the problem he sees that will keep him from his throne. Macbeth is so caught up in what he can gain, he is willing to ruin things for others in order to get it. “ If ill, why hath it given me earnest of success… If good, why do I yield to that suggestion whose horrid image doth unfix my hair…”...
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