Power and Corruption in Macbeth Essay - 633 Words
Corruption in Macbeth - Syracuse University
Macbeth is introduced as a humble and honest leader, however as the play continues his blinded ambition leads him down a dark path in which he loses all moral sense. Initially Macbeth is said to be "brave", "noble" and a "worthy gentleman" who is willing to put his life on the line to protect his kingdom "Thawdor". This all begins to change after Macbeth hears his prophecy and suddenly his ambition to become king alights. Macbeth is influenced so heavily by his ambitions that he loses his original "noble" and "honest" traits and begins plotting the murder of Duncan, "o, never shall sun that morrow see!". This shows the first stage of the corrupting influence of unchecked ambition taking over Macbeth. Macbeth carries out the murder of Duncan and then soon after begins plotting the murder of his close friend Banquo. This reveals that the influence of Macbeth's uncontrolled ambition has now completely taken him over. The influence of ambitions on Macbeth to stay as king completely wipes his mind of all his morals and all things that were once important to him, Lady Macbeth is portrayed near the beginning of the play to mean everything to Macbeth and Macbeth tried to do what he could to please her. However, when Lady Macbeth dies later in the play, Macbeth's only words are "she should of died hear after" as he is annoyed at the fact she died at an inconvenient time. This illustrates how the unchecked ambition that has a corrupting influence upon Macbeth turns him against his once noble and honest path.
11/25/2009: Power and Corruption in Macbeth
As observed, Shakespeare displays corruption in Macbeth through the characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, as well as through the effects of their corruption on Scotland. Through these three sources, it is evident that the consequences of corruption presented in the play are significant in the overall plot of the story through the development of main characters and key concepts. While this play explores corruption a few centuries ago, the aforementioned quotation from John F. Kennedy's inaugural speech shows that corruption is still prevalent in modern society. Similar to the situation in Macbeth, consequences of this corruption affect not only the person responsible for the corruption, but also the society in which they reside.