Power is represented through a number of characters in this play. One of which would clearly be Macbeth himself. With relevance to the character Macbeth, power could be seen as his hamartia (meaning fatal flaw) or more likely, the lust and in his own words, the “vaulting ambition” for it. For the period of time in which he held utmost power over the people of Scotland, before his death, Shakespeare makes it very clear that Macbeth did not enjoy a single bit of his power.
“To be this is nothing,
But to be safely thus” Act III Scene I
Back in the Elizabethan era, regicide was seen not only seen to be treason but also a sin against God, for the King was said to be ‘God’s anointed’. Macbeth would have clearly understood this fact, and though he had attempted to back out of the plan before, the persuasion of his wife in addition to his burning desire for power led him to knowingly defy God, which would have been a big issue at that time, and to carry through his plan of assassination, knowing that if he were to die, he would be headed straight to hell. Shakespeare very successfully portrays power to be such an important and significant element to hold, through the characterisation of Macbeth and at the same time reveals just how destructive and catastrophic its effects can be, if it is not made use of properly. Macbeth had used his power for wrongdoing and comes to realise his shame and remorse very quickly.
“ What hands are here? Ha! They pluck out mine eyes. Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red.”
As the audience of this play, we are shown the gradual psychological deterioration of Macbeth, as his quest for power leads him to making evil choices, such as committing regicide and a whole reign of murderous terror in order to stay in power and protect himself from enmity. He is convinced that ‘fair is foul, and foul is fair’, just as...
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