Power and Corruption in Macbeth

Topics: Macbeth, Three Witches, Murder Pages: 2 (633 words) Published: November 3, 2008
Power and corruption are some of the major themes presented in Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth. The story deals with these themes by showing us how Macbeth’s actions have grim consequences which ensue in poor results, such as Macbeth’s complete change of character. In one of the first few scenes of the play, the captain states for “brave Macbeth well he deserves that name”, showing us that Macbeth is loyal to the king for killing the villain. The captain’s statement also shows that he is a good and well respected soldier in Scotland. Later, Macbeth & Banquo meet the witches which predict that Macbeth will become “ Thane of Cawdor and king hereafter”. When Macbeth “starts”, it reveals that he had already considered becoming king before, but did not take any action because he knew it was morally incorrect. However, after hearing the witches’ foretelling that he would become king, Macbeth develops an indecisive mind and is always internally conflicting against his conscience with doing what is right versus getting what he wants. Also, Macbeth writes to Lady Macbeth telling her about the witches and their prophecies. Without any hesitation and with great confidence, Lady Macbeth immediately wants Macbeth to murder Duncan, but she fears that he is “too full of the milk of human kindness”. Even after talking to Lady Macbeth, Macbeth is still undecided about what he should do and he admits that his only motive for murdering Duncan is because of his “vaulting ambition” to become king. Seeing this, Lady Macbeth manipulates Macbeth by calling him a coward and tells him that she would even kill her own child than back down on her word. After this, Macbeth decides that he will take the throne. But it is not entirely Lady Macbeth’s fault for convincing Macbeth to do so because in the end, it was entirely Macbeth’s own choice to follow his greed and ambition for power. The witches and Lady Macbeth simply played roles in stirring his ambition.

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