For the first act of the play, the ignition of the theme that power corrupts is fueled by an ambition which is notably created by the three witches and their encounter with Macbeth and Banquo. They chant, “All hail Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! / All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! / All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!” (I.iii.48-50) This is the moment where the seed of ambition is planted in his mind. Their premonition is the spark of the plot and, accordingly, Macbeth’s downfall. What follows this exchange is Macbeth being honored as Thane of Cawdor, which leads to him becoming almost certain that he will become king, considering the rest of the premonition was accurate. Lady Macbeth is Macbeth’s main influence and the strongest, not only because she is his wife, but she gives him ideas that he is appalled yet intrigued by. She fuels his dark intentions and means to becoming king. She commands, “...look like th’ innocent flower, / But be the serpent under’t.” (I.vii.63-64) This metaphor summarized the plan of Macbeth gaining King Duncan’s trust enough to assassinate him without drawing suspicion. Lady Macbeth asks for Macbeth to conceal his dark intention...
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...e fearful than ever. We see the turn of power take place here in the plotline. His foe, Macduff, after hearing of his family’s murders, initiates the war. He exclaims, “If thou be’st slain and with no stroke of mine, / My wife and children’s ghost will haunt me still.” (V.vii.15-16) Macduff believes that he must be the one to kill Macbeth the atone for him leaving his family vulnerable and consequently murdered. In the end, Macbeth is killed and beheaded by Macduff, which is more or less what he was asking for.
The tyranny of Macbeth was as weak as his morals. He made countless mistakes which ended up backfiring tremendously, and lead not only to his people turning against him, but also his death. His lust for ambition proved to be more powerful than his morals; therefore, power corrupted him immensely and was the root source of what made Macbeth’s story a tragedy.
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