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Parallels Between Macduff and Macbeth

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Parallels Between Macduff and Macbeth

In humans, greed will often play a more pronounced role in their actions then morals. In the Shakespearian play Macbeth we see how far greed and ambition has crushed the stability of Scotland and destroyed the lives of multiple lords and innocents. At first we see Macbeth as the glorious hero who “unseam’d” (1.2.23) the traitor Macdonwald in the defense of his King and Country, yet turns into a king who is powerless and paranoid. The downfall of the usurper is enabled by Macduff who decapitates Macbeth at the end of the play. We see that Macduff is actually following a route similar to that of Macbeth, and is the one whom greed and the witches would have chosen to manipulate to his harm next. Macduff filled with anger and grief would be the next catalyst of chaos in Scotland.

Shakespeare tells us through the play that greed can bring down the greatest amongst us. This is shown no clearer than in the case of “Brave Macbeth” (1.2.17) as we see him “carve out his” (1.2.20) path to “unseam” (1.2.23) the traitor Macdonwald and prove his courage. He was rewarded for these deeds with the thaneship of Cawdor and the renown of his soldiers and the other lords of the court. The three witches, however, soon show the true power of greed as they “win [him] to [his] harm…with honest trifles” (1.3.26, 28) and he becomes a paranoid despot grasping to regain control of his life and his realm. Eventually the greed and ambition for greatness and power led him to become a “dwarfish thief…in a giant’s robe” (5.2.18, 20) whose men “move only in command, nothing in love.” (5.2.17) Most of the Scottish lords of the time would think themselves above such ruthless need for power, perhaps Macduff most of all,...

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...ches had made the foulest. Therefore the weird sisters would have tried to corrupt Macduff, not necessarily through the murder of Malcolm yet, still make him foul. Not only have Macduff and Macbeth walked similar paths to the greatness they hold at their finest moments, but the catalyst that brought down Macbeth would want to destroy Macduff as well.

Clearly there are great parallels between the Thane of Glamis and that of Fife. Greed can take down the greatest men and make them foul. Both Macbeth and Macduff were great men, and skilled, brave warriors, but both men also have remorse in their hearts and are seen as fair by the conniving witches. The witches would seek out these men to convert them to evil. Greed is a circle that has no ends, only infinite beginnings-of which Macbeth and Macduff both are one-it creates chaos and disorder wherever it is sown.
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