The Greed of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

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The Greed of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Power can change people in a way that is incomprehensible. Power can make one so greedy that he/she will do anything for it and won't let anyone, or thing stand in his/her way. This essay will also compare the character of some that get pulled in by this greed for power, and one that doesn't get taken in by this greed for power.

In Macbeth, the main character, Macbeth gets corrupted by the avarice for power. The way Macbeth himself get corrupted, is very evident. For example at the beginning of the play, Macbeth seems like the sort of person who wouldn't commit the act of murder as he has a conscience. This is known because at the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is the one that manipulates Macbeth to commit the crime. Macbeth has his doubts, but Lady Macbeth coaxes him to do it. In this dialogue between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, Macbeth expresses his concerns and Lady Macbeth reassures him. Macbeth: "If we should fail?" Lady Macbeth: "...screw your courage to the sticking place, And we'll not fail"(1.7.67-69). Lady Macbeth then goes on to explain the plan and reassures Macbeth by saying "when in swinish sleep Their drenched natures lie as in death, What cannot you and I perform upon Th'unguarded Duncan? What not put upon His spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt of our great quell?"(1.7.76-80). Macbeth was evidently unsure about this and needed a great deal of reassurance to finally go through with it. Even though Macbeth's gut instinct at first was not to commit the murder, he gives in to his wife and commits the murder. Despite that fact that Macbeth is appalled by his deed, he still goes on to kill more people in order to secure his position. Macbeth forgets about his friends and the value of their friendships and is willing to, and does kill them if it means his position as king isn't secure, or won't be secure. Macbeth's priorities aren't straight as a result of his avarice for power.

The next character that will be explored from Macbeth is Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth's attitude towards power is somewhat similar to Macbeth's. At the beginning of the play, when Lady Macbeth reads the letter from her husband telling her about the witches, it can be clearly be seen that she will be willing to risk anything to see Macbeth king.
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