What Are Machiavellian Beliefs In Macbeth

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Morals are extraneous in politics. Crimes such as fraud, corruption and even pre arranged murder are ever so present in the political world. Niccolo Machiavelli’s beliefs state that rulers are deceitful, over-ambitious and ruthless in power. In the play Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, Machiavelli’s beliefs are reflected by the protagonist Macbeth. He symbolizes the Machiavellian theory that a ruler should present him/herself well in public, and do what is essential to maintain their authority. Machiavelli’s beliefs are modeled by Macbeth when he orders the murder of Macduff’s family, orders the murder his close companion Banquo, and when he murder’s King Duncan in order to satisfy his ambition to become king. Macbeth is an epitome…show more content…
Banquo is one of Macbeth’s allies, present with him throughout several scenes in the play. They were together during the prophecy that Macbeth would become King of Scotland. Besides the prophecy, of Macbeth becoming king, the witches also said Banquo’s child would become king. Consequently, in order to facilitate his desire to remain king he sends out a group of murderers to kill Banquo and Fleance. He convinces them to undergo his vile plan by blaming Banquo for their poverty; he states "Know that it was he [Banquo], in the times past, which held you so under fortune" (3.1.83-85). This situation demonstrates the Machiavellian principle of deception in leaders as Macbeth cunningly persuaded the murderers to believe their miserable lives were at the fault of Banquo. Furthermore, after the deed has been done Macbeth makes reference to a Machiavellian quote, “Men ought either to be well treated or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they cannot” (Machiavelli 18). Machiavelli’s words indicate that if you do not do enough damage to your opposition, they will recover and retaliate in retrospect. When the murderer informs him that Fleance has escaped, Macbeth exclaims “There the grown serpent [Banquo] lies. The worm that’s fled hath nature that in time will venom breed” (Shakespeare.3.4.32-33). The correlation between the two quotes is that Machiavelli states that you must terminate your enemy in order for there to be no retaliation, and Macbeth pleads his distress towards the fact that Fleance has not been killed. Shakespeare furthermore applies Machiavelli’s concepts and establishes them into his protagonist, Macbeth. In summary, Machiavelli’s concepts regarding deception and damage towards your adversary are perceptible with the character Macbeth, thus imposing that Macbeth is indeed a

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