Lust For Power In Macbeth Essay

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During the English reign of King James, William Shakespeare wrote a play about one man’s fatal struggle to gain power, which eventually lead to his own demise. The tale of “Macbeth”, which was written all the way back in the seventeenth century, continues to be appreciated today. It is a very simple, yet incredibly complex story of the protagonist, Macbeth, who is pressured into killing his own king and houseguest, in an attempt to take the crown of Scotland. The play’s audience follows Macbeth on his journey of becoming the King of Scotland, threw murder and deception, all the way to his final fight where his apparent luck runs out. In the play “Macbeth”, William Shakespeare uses Macbeth’s evolving lust for power as the primary means of…show more content…
He is interested in hearing what it is that they have to say about his future, and is surprised to learn that they predict he will one day be king. Once lady Macbeth gets ahold of this information, Macbeth is started down a steep slippery slope from which he will not return. In order for the story to make sense, Macbeth had to be able to get close enough to Duncan to kill him, so Macbeth was written to be a character trusted and appointed to power by the king. We know this because of Macbeth saying “I am Thane of Cawdor” (1.3.134). Additionally, when Shakespeare wrote “Macbeth” he was aware that people could not pretend to be loyal to someone for a long time, and then all of a sudden reveal that they are actually evil (Mack). It is for this reason that Lady Macbeth is used to pressure Macbeth into killing Duncan. Before that murder, Macbeth was very reluctant to kill for personal gain and it took his wife’s encouragement to change his opinion (Mack). Shortly after the scene where Lady Macbeth tries to convince Macbeth to kill Duncan, Macbeth has a soliloquy where he tries to convince himself to kill Duncan, and eventually his lust for power wins out…show more content…
It is around this time in the play that the audience gets to see how drastic of a change Macbeth has gone threw. He is informed that his wife has killed herself and his reaction couldn 't be further from what would be expected from him at the beginning of the play. He said, “She should have died hereafter: There would have been a time for such a word…” (5.5.17-18). Macbeth is essentially saying that she would have died at some point in time, so then was as good as ever. This scene is proof of how much Macbeth’s lust for power has changed him. Lady Macbeth went from being the most important factor in his decision making process, to someone where Macbeth was not even phased by her death (Gleed). It has also been suggested that Macbeth is angry at Lady Macbeth for starting him down the path of power hungriness and killing, and because of that he is less sympathetic about her own death. Whatever the reason for his response, it highlights Macbeth’s transformation, being that he started the play completely uncomfortable with the idea of killing, to having the death of his wife barely affect him

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