William Shakespeare's Macbeth
“Power Corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.”(Voltaire) means
that the more power one has the more corrupt they become. One that has
power generally abuses it. In Macbeth many different people have
power, and each use their power in a different way. Lady Macbeth and
the three witches, they have power over Macbeth, playing on his
emotions, superstitions and especially his fatal flaw- Ambition.
Macbeth has little power over his equals so his ambitions cause him to
reach for other powers.
At the opening of the play Macbeth is hailed as brave, the hero of the
battle against Norway. The captain says “Brave Macbeth well he
deserves that name”, (I,ii,16) and later to show his hunters skill
against the invaders “As sparrows, eagles or the hare, the
Duncan, the king calls him “Noble Macbeth”,(I,ii,66) in recognition of
his brave deeds and loyalty to his king. The king then ironically
gave him the title of Thane of Cawdor because the previous thane
betrayed the king “No more that Thane of Cawdor deceive…. And with his
former title greet Macbeth”, (I,iii,63). We catch a glimpse of how
well the witches play on his ambition when he thinks immediately of
their proposition once Duncan mentions naming his heir.
By the end of the play Macbeth is regarded as a tyrant, he kills
indiscriminately to hold on to power. He also shows arrogance and
disdain when dismissing medicine because it cannot save Lady Macbeth.
In his speech on hearing of his wife Lady Macbeth’s death he tries to
pass on responsibility by blaming everything on fate, likening himself
to an actor on the stage “ Life’s but a walking shadow that struts and
frets his hour on the stage”, (V,v,23).
From the first time heard the witches’ predictions Macbeth was haunted
by them. The fact that the first two (becoming thane of Glamis and
Thane of Cawdor) came true affects Macbeth. He believes he will not
have to do anything to become King “If chance will have me King then