Macbeth 's Desire For Power Essay

Macbeth 's Desire For Power Essay

Length: 1584 words (4.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Macbeth is a brave general who fights for his country Scotland, defeating the King of Norway. He is loyal to his king Duncan, but Macbeth has ambition to take over the kingdom for himself. He has lots of doubts of if he is doing the right thing, but still murders Duncan and then Banquo who is another general who fought with Macbeth. These murders and guilt about his treason are leading Macbeth to become insane. This essay shows that although Macbeth’s strong desire for power is influenced by the three witches in the play and also the planning and ambition of his wife Lady Macbeth, in the end he is responsible for his self-destruction.
In the beginning of the play, Duncan rewards Macbeth for his victories by making him Thane of Cawdor. The three witches foretell this to Macbeth and Banquo but also tell them that Macbeth is going to become king and then Banquo will be father of kings as well: “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth that shalt be king hereafter.” (Macbeth, 1.3, 50). Macbeth is excited to hear it, but Banquo warns him about trusting the witches: “Were such things here as we do speak about? Or have we eaten on the insane root that takes the reason prisoner?” (83) “and…oftentimes to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths.” (123) Macbeth wants to become king and he’s also confused about whether the witches are good or bad: “This supernatural soliciting cannot be ill, cannot be good… why do I yield to that suggestion whose horrid image doth…make me seated heart knock at my ribs…” (130)
History presents that in Scotland witchcraft was a very important subject in that time. According to Faith Nostbakken in Understanding Macbeth a very sad moment then was th...

... middle of paper ...

...pecial wonder?” (3.4, 112) Macbeth turns paranoid as Banquo’s ghost comes and goes which in turn he seeks answers from the witches who make him even more aggressive and confused by telling him that “no man born of woman shall harm Macbeth.” (4.1, 82) He does not stop his murders and even kills Macduff’s wife and children. In the end, it is Macbeth’s own ambition which leads to his self-destruction. He faces the consequences of his actions as he is murdered by Macduff. Macbeth’s ambition for kingship and power, his self-preservation of the crown through murders is a result of his own destruction, his fall.

Works Cited

Mathur, Dr. K.C., Witches Caldron: a study of motive in Shakespeare’s Macbeth
Nostbakken, Faith, Understanding Macbeth: a student casebook to issues, sources, and historical documents
The Tragedy of Macbeth, edited by Sylvan Barnet

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Seduction of Power in Macbeth Essay

- The “seduction” of power can change an individual drastically. An individual in a position of power often believes that they are better than the others around them. The entitlement an individual feels after obtaining power can be costly. William Shakespeare portrays the “seduction” of power in Macbeth, through Macbeth’s ambition to attain more power. Macbeth acts as his own adversary shown through his paranoia and insecurity that ultimately, led him to be a corrupted individual because of his greediness to obtain more power....   [tags: Shakespeare, Tragedy of Macbeth]

Better Essays
1379 words (3.9 pages)

The Premise Of Power Within Macbeth Essay

- The Premise of Power within Macbeth An idea such as power establishes itself in most societies throughout the world. Power sets the basis for order and civilization, but it also causes chaos and collides with other human instincts such as greed and ambition. Power presents itself in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth in a confusing manner. Macbeth yearns to gain power and has the means to gain it, but the method of his gaining of power have been questioned by critics since its inscription in 1623....   [tags: Macbeth, Malcolm III of Scotland]

Better Essays
1950 words (5.6 pages)

Power Of Macbeth By William Shakespeare Essay

- Power in Macbeth The truth of the cause of Macbeth’s fate, his doom, and his unavoidable misery lies within the evilness of the supernatural beings in the play. In Macbeth, written by none other than William Shakespeare, Macbeth struggles with his internal greedy demons which constantly desire more power. These thoughts can be traced back to the evil witches, who love to play around with people’s lives. The witches in the play say, “He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear / His hopes 'bove wisdom, grace, and fear....   [tags: Macbeth, Three Witches, Banquo, KILL]

Better Essays
1312 words (3.7 pages)

How Power Corrupts in Macbeth Essay

- “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” (John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton) It is in human nature that the more power one desires the more corrupt actions one must do to attain it. In Shakespeare’s tragedy of Macbeth, a Scottish noble's craving for power leads him to do terrible deeds that leads to his demise. Shakespeare shows that power corrupts by using Macbeth who corrupts under the thought of have power over others. Macbeth becomes corrupt under the thought of becoming king and gaining almost complete control over the people that he rules....   [tags: Macbeth, power, Shakespeare, ]

Better Essays
2635 words (7.5 pages)

Essay about powmac Power and Corruption in Macbeth

- Power and Corruption in Macbeth       "Authority poisons everybody who takes authority upon himself" (Vladimir Ilyich Lenin). This could easily be a comment on the story of Macbeth where an apparently respected Scottish couple have the opportunity to seize the highest authority, take it, and in doing so, poison themselves and their country. In Macbeth, the play's theme is the strife created by the wrongful seizure of power and the corruption of morals of those who acquire power by evil means....   [tags: Macbeth essays]

Better Essays
1899 words (5.4 pages)

Macbeth 's Uncontrollable Desire For The Throne Essay example

- Macbeth’s uncontrollable desire for the throne makes him the perfect example of a tragic hero. Macbeth was first recognized as a great general and an asset to the kingdom. He had the respect of the people and even the king, whom he first seems to have much respect and care for. After winning one of the biggest battles Macbeth and his friend Banquo encounter three witches, drastically changing the plot of the story. The prophesy from the three witches awaken Macbeth’s desire for the throne, however he didn’t stand alone....   [tags: Macbeth, William Shakespeare, Macbeth]

Better Essays
1126 words (3.2 pages)

Blind Violence and Desire in Macbeth Essay

- In Macbeth desire and violence are prevalent throughout the book. Desire blinds one’s ability to think clearly when making a decision. If violence is used due to one’s desire than violence becomes a never ending cycle until the outcome of the violence goes against the one whose desire led to violence. When making a decision, one should use reason, which is having a logical justification or motive. Violence is committed many times in the book but not all for the same motive. Macbeth commits several acts of violence in the book due to his desire for the kingship of Scotland....   [tags: Macbeth, Shakespeare, violence, ]

Better Essays
806 words (2.3 pages)

Macbeth, By William Shakespeare Essay

- In Shakespeare’s tragic play Macbeth, Shakespeare creates the ruthless character Macbeth, who is willing to go beyond any measure in order to attain the power of being king, including murder, deceit, betrayal and overpowering the chain of being. Macbeth was first tempted by the idea of kingship when three witches presented him with their portent of Macbeth becoming the next King of Scotland. Ebullient, Macbeth, immediately informed his wife of the news and they both pondered the thought of having the power to rule all of Scotland....   [tags: Macbeth, Three Witches, Macbeth]

Better Essays
1563 words (4.5 pages)

Essay about Macbeth, By William Shakespeare

- Vikrant Parsai, an Indian poet, wrote a proverb saying, “He who wants everything every time will lose everything anytime.” In the tragic play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, Macbeth is presented as a honorable warrior when he defeats Macdonald 's army in battle but becomes a man full of greed. He encounters three witches, who grant him a prophecy, stating he would become the future thane of Cawdor and the future king. He shares his experience with his wife, Lady Macbeth, and she plots and encourages him to kill King Duncan of Scotland....   [tags: Macbeth, Three Witches, Macbeth]

Better Essays
1056 words (3 pages)

Essay about Macbeth

- Shakespeare’s Macbeth is not the first play we’ve read where women are portrayed as malicious. Starting from Lady Macbeth to the witches and their prophecies. Lady Macbeth is Macbeth’s wife, but she acts as though she was the man in the relationship. However, Lady Macbeth is a leading ambitious woman that we are not used to seeing who really wants her husband to become king, and in order to obtain she think it’s fine for him to commit murder. After Macbeth informs her of the witches’ prophecy, which was that he would eventually become king of Scotland she doesn’t hesitate to persuade him to kill Duncan....   [tags: Macbeth Essays]

Better Essays
739 words (2.1 pages)