Abuse Of Power In Macbeth

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William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Macbeth is a play concentrated upon a tyrannical ruler’s desire for power. Macbeth, a nobleman of Scotland, receives a prophecy from three witches. Macbeth learns from these prophesies that, he will eventually become king. With the manipulative actions of his wife, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth seizes power leaving a path of destruction and death behind him. Macbeth’s oppressive rule results in the suffering of himself, his family, his friends, and his country. Shakespeare illustrates Macbeth’s undoing by using recurring motifs to highlight the theme of the misled aspiration for power. Power is an intoxicating element of life. In fact, it is the aspiration of most to obtain a certain level of power over something…show more content…
With corrupt intent, power becomes fallacious. Macbeth accurately represents the idea of extreme power. Throughout the play, violence and murder recurs conveying the proposition of Macbeth's ultimate demise caused by his misguided ambition. Before murdering Duncan, Macbeth says to himself, “But in these cases / We still have judgment here, that we but teach / Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return / To plague th' inventor: this even-handed justice / Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice.” (Shakespeare 1.7.4-12) showing that he knows there will be consequences for his actions. After murdering Duncan, Macbeth guiltily announces, “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather / The multitudinous seas incarnadine, / Making the green one red.” (2.2.61-64). From this, it is revealed that Macbeth has stained his hands with the blood of the innocent while attempting to assume the role as king of Scotland. This murder is a direct consequence of Macbeth’s power quest. Because of Macbeth’s corrupted desires, Macbeth brings destruction his lands and must…show more content…
Guilt is a powerful emotion that weighs down on one’s soul. It certainly weighed down on Macbeth’s soul. Macbeth, after murdering King Duncan, says to Lady Macbeth he thought he heard a voice say, “‘Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor / Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more.”’ (2.242-43). This voice was not someone else's voice, but it was from Macbeth's own thoughts. His ambition to become powerful has taken its toll; Macbeth will no longer sleep well as his guilt prevents him from doing so. In Act III Macbeth makes it apparent he cannot sleep saying, “Ere we will eat our meal in fear, and sleep / In the affliction of these terrible dreams / That shake us nightly.” (3.2.17-19) meaning that Macbeth cannot sleep and is haunted by his sins. Lady Macbeth’s sleep is also haunted by her sins. As the a doctor observes her sleepwalking he states, “A great perturbation in nature, to receive at once / the benefit of sleep, and do the effects of / watching!” (5.1.9-11). What the doctor means is she is technically asleep; however, she is not resting. Therefore, her life is quite unpleasant because of this plague. Which is the consequences of her own misguided

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