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William Shakespeare's Macbeth

analytical Essay
874 words
874 words
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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

lion”,(I,ii,35)

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

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that in william shakespeare's macbeth, the more power one has the corrupter one becomes. lady and the three witches use their power in different ways, playing on his emotions, superstitions and ambition.
  • Analyzes how macbeth has little power over his equals so his ambitions cause him to reach for other powers. he is hailed as brave, the hero of the battle against norway.
  • Analyzes how the witches play on his ambition when he thinks immediately of their proposition once duncan mentions naming his heir.
  • Analyzes how macbeth is regarded as a tyrant by the end of the play. he kills indiscriminately to hold on to power.
  • Analyzes how macbeth was haunted by the witches' predictions. the fact that the first two came true affects him. he believes he will not have to do anything to become king.
  • Analyzes how lady macbeth is a strong-minded woman who would have plucked her nipple from her child's boneless gums, and dashed the brains out.
  • Analyzes how lady macbeth's deep rooted ambition is contrasted with her mental anguish after the murder.
  • Analyzes how macbeth scorns him for his hallucinations, but after the murder of banquo and lady macduff, she starts to sleepwalk and talk, rubbing her hands continually to get the blood off.
  • Analyzes how macbeth's increasing ambition shields him from moral repercussions after killing duncan. the witches convince him he is invincible with three visions each feeding his ambition
  • Analyzes how macbeth exploits his superstitions, including an armed head, bloody child, and a crown and tree.
  • Analyzes how the witches show a procession of eight kings and finally banquos' ghost following. the second and third visions convince macbeth that he shall never be beaten.
  • Analyzes how malcolm and macduff hide behind the trees and bring ‘great birnam wood’ to dunsinane hill. macbeth ambition is the biggest reason for his fall.
  • Analyzes how macbeth realizes he might have to kill duncan to be king, but his better nature fights his ambition and tells lady that if she hadn't given him the final nudge, the whole business would have been left to fate.
  • Analyzes how macbeth kills duncan, banquo, lady macduff, and the others, but after assuaging the guilt of this murder, his conscience doesn't bother him. only his ambition spurs him on.
  • Analyzes how macbeth is still a tragic character because we find he is suffering an living hell without the blessing of sleep.
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