The Beginnings and Endings of Machiavellian Kings

1007 Words5 Pages
Shakespeare's Macbeth shows similarities to Richard III of England in his ambition and Machiavellians deeds, but their nature sets them apart. In the end, they are seen as similar tyrants in the way their countries reacted to their kingships. Despite the similarities, they both have had a very different path that led to their Ambition. Because of their natures, one was a victim of fate, the other was a victim of his own pessimism. These Machiavellian characters take different paths to a parallel end. These two men have identical paths to the same tragic demise. As scholar leading British essayists of the early nineteenth century says, "These two characters in common hands, and indeed in the hands of any other poet, would have been a reputation of the same general idea. For both are tyrants, usurpers, murderers, both aspiring and ambitious, both courageous, cruel, treacherous. (29)" Macbeth, upon learning of the witches foretelling of the future, plans the murder of Duncan to take over the Throne. When the witches hail him as the King of Scotland, his ambition takes over and he drowns in a pool of blood that was created through murder that didn’t seem to stop. After killing Duncan and usurping the kingship, he killed whoever stood in the way of keeping it. The nation of Scotland was in fear of him and the once peaceful land was now in turmoil. An army was raised against him and his own ambition caused a rebellion that would turn into his ultimate downfall. Jealous of his brother's power, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, starts to secretly aspire the throne and plots to guilt trip his brother, King Edward, to death and lock up Edward's two sons. The same pool of blood consumes Richard, for the murders were endless. He did whatever ... ... middle of paper ... ...urdering his brothers and kidnapping his nephews, he fully knew of the consequence and had no remorse. Ambition makes or breaks a man. In the case of Macbeth and Richard III, it broke them quicker than anything ever could. They turned into reckless tyrants. One had a promising future, the other was doomed to a villainous life from the beginning. One turned into a monster, the other was one was one all along. If you are ambitious enough, opportunity will knock, but you may not always want to answer. Works Cited Bloom, Harold. "William Hazlitt on Macbeth and Richard III." William Shakespeare's Macbeth. New York: Chelsea House, 1996. 27-31. Print. Lukeman, Noah, and William Shakespeare. The Tragedy of Macbeth. New York: Pegasus, 2008. Print. Shakespeare, William, and Peter Holland. The Tragedy of King Richard the Third. New York, NY: Penguin, 2000. Print.
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