Corruption and Power in Macbeth

Topics: Macbeth, Duncan I of Scotland, English-language films Pages: 2 (769 words) Published: April 7, 2005
Personal power has the ability to be essential to greatness, and at the same time is able to destroy a person's nature. In the drama Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the main character, Macbeth, becomes corrupt through power that he gains. The play shows that even someone who starts out like Macbeth and does not crave power, will do terrible things to gain authority and power.

The play begins with the characters King Duncan and Malcolm talking about a "good and hardy soldier" (Act I: ii: 4). This man they are talking about is the stories protagonist, Macbeth. Macbeth is a good soldier who is devoted to his king. Then, Macbeth and his friend come across three witches who prophecy Macbeth's future, hailing him as one day becoming King. This prophesy grabs Macbeth's mind, and the change in his character begins. Whenever the witches try to leave, Macbeth immediately remarks for them to "stay" and to "tell (me) more" (Act I: ii: 70). The witches prophesy is the first example of Macbeth being affected by power. This supernatural knowledge begins to fray his mind and Macbeth begins to wonder what he must to for the prophecy's to come true.

Macbeth does not begin to plot his first murder on the information gained by the witches on his own. Though the witches' prophecies do peak Macbeth's interest, it is not until his wife, Lady Macbeth hears of the prophecy that the murder actually begins to take form. Lady Macbeth discusses killing Duncan to her reluctant husband who tries to resist the thoughts of killing Duncan because "he hath honor'd me of late" (Act I: vii: 34). Lady Macbeth, however, prevails and Macbeth kills Duncan.

Macbeth does not become totally corrupted at first after killing Duncan. Actually, Macbeth stays very skeptical and weary of the crime he has committed so much that he refuses to go back into Duncan's room and finish the job (Act II: ii: 48). While Macbeth seems very sting on the outside, one sees how weak his is mentally. Macbeth...
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