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
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.