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Free Macbeth Essays: Corruption

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Corruption in Macbeth

 

Power has the ability to destroy one's nature.  Thus, making one capable

to do many things he would not normally do, unless power has been an

influence.  Once Macbeth realizes that he has power, he becomes a person of

corruption.  This power he attains allows him to commit many sins in order to

become King of Scotland.   In Macbeth, a play by William Shakespeare, Macbeth

corrupts through power, guilt, and ambition.

 

    Macbeth, with his desire to achieve a particular goal, plans to be the

most powerful person in Scotland.  Macbeth fights on Scotland's side and

kills Macdonwald.  King Duncan tells to "go pronounce his present death, and

with his former title greet Macbeth" (I.ii.63-65).  King Duncan hears of

Macbeth's powerful and noble qualities and crowns him the new Thane of

Cawdor.    Macbeth kills King Duncan, which leaves an empty spot for a new

King.  He has "done the deed" and there is a very loud "noise" (II.ii.19).

He is reassuring himself that he will become very powerful.  Soon Macbeth

learns of heirs to the throne of which may interfere with his power, and he

immediately orders for the death of both Banquo and Fleance.  He tells the

hired murderers to "leave no rubs nor botches in the work . . . Fleance, his

son . . . is far less material" (III.ii.153-155).  With this, he is allowing

these undermining and evil ways of his to get the betterment of him,

corrupting his being.  Macbeth is so consumed by the thoughts of becoming

powerful that he corrupts himself to an even further extent.

 

    Before and after the murder of Duncan, Macbeth is consumed with the

thoughts of guilt.  When he tells his wife of the future, she begins to

manipulate him into wanting to kill King Duncan.  Yet, Macbeth resists the

horrible thoughts and tries to push them out of his mind because "Duncan has

always honored him" (I.vii.35).  King Duncan is a very good friend to Macbeth

and he feels guilt about his death.  Macbeth is growing more and more

delirious and wants to get out of the murders.  When attending the gathering

he tells guests that "[his] dull brain [is] wrought with forgotten things"

(I.iii.166-167).  He is slowly allowing himself to be eaten alive by such

guilt that he even admits to his party attendants.  Macbeth goes through with

the slaying of Duncan.  His wife tells him to look innocent and to "carry

[the daggers] and smear the sleepy grooms with blood" (II.ii.63-64).  His

innocence is no longer available, that it is nearly a pawn in his game to be

crown King of Scotland.  While he seems very strong on the outside, very

quietly on the inside Macbeth's existence is being thrown about, all from the

corruption of the want of power which leads to the feeling of guilt.

 

    Macbeth's ambition allows him to become more involved in the thought of

becoming powerful.  He first begins to think of his being King, after the

three witches begin to tell him of his fate.  When they try to leave, he

immediately remarks for them to "stay" and to "tell [him] more" (I.iii.73).

By Macbeth wanting to know of his future plans, he is ambitiously corrupting

himself. Macbeth longs to become King so much that he will do anything to

meet his goal.  Macbeth has "no spur to prick" the outcome of his intent,

"but only Vaulting ambition" (III.ii.50-51).  Macbeth's continuous ambition

is present in his wanting to have a succession of kings after him.  After

Macbeth finds out of Banquo and Fleance's escape, he takes no time in moving

onto the next victim.  His ambition is to "surprises" Macduff with the "edge

o' th' sword," but his wife and children, their "unfortunate souls," die

instead (IV.i.174-177).  Coincidentally, Macduff went to England, rendering

his family defenseless at the time of their murder.

 

    Macbeth's thoughts are the first to trigger his corrupt ways.  Because

Macbeth craves such a power, his soul is eaten away at the thought of

becoming King of Scotland.  Thus, when he becomes King, he allows himself to

deteriorate even more.  Macbeth does suffer from his power, guilt, and

ambition until he has died.  It is not the witches, knife, or man that kill

Macbeth.  It is his ambition that drove him into Hell.

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