• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Lust for Power: Moral Blindness. It is demonstrated that the uncontrollable need for power ultimately leads to Macbeths downfall through the couples foolish ambition

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

David Aziz EAE3UI-02 Mr. Gravelle April 18, 2011 The Lust for Power: Moral Blindness Throughout history, a countless number of people have pursued positions of power. However, the need for power has corrupted great leaders and blinded them of their wrong-doings. In William Shakespeare's Macbeth, the main character Macbeth and his wife Lady Macbeth find themselves in a similar chase for power. It is demonstrated that the uncontrollable need for power ultimately leads to Macbeth's downfall through the couple's foolish ambition, the different influences Macbeth encounters and Macbeth's madness. Firstly, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's ambition goes unchecked by moral constraints because of their need for power. It is the witches' prophecies that fuel Macbeth's desire to peruse the throne. This later leads Macbeth and his wife to become overly ambitious and pursue the position of power at all cost. This is proven by the reckless killing of King Duncan. The couple shows their impatience and their ambition to make the prophecy come true. This first kill foreshadows the destructive path Macbeth has chosen to follow in his search for power. In addition, the witches' prophecies were always the source of the couple's ambition. In various scenes, the witches make ridiculous predictions, which instigate Macbeth to take action. This is shown at various times during the play; for instance, it is made evident when Macbeth attempts to kill Fleance. ...read more.

Middle

This is demonstrated when Lady Macbeth says "Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be. What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature. It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness". (Shakespeare, I.v.4-6) She believes that Macbeth's kind nature will prevent him from taking action. For this reason, she influences him greatly into murdering the king. Lady Macbeth is clearly willing to do everything necessary to seize the throne. Furthermore, his wife influences him yet again with comments that question his courage and his masculinity. She is displeased with his cowardice and believes that her husband is being indecisive and weak. This is proven when she says "Come to my woman's breasts, and take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers, wherever in your sightless substances. You wait on nature's mischief. (Shakespeare I.v.49-52) In this speech, Lady Macbeth expresses her wishes to be a man as her femininity impedes her from performing cruel actions. However, knowing that it was not a possibility, she wanted Macbeth to overcome his fear and go through with their plan. With this influence and manipulation to peruse power, Macbeth's mind becomes corrupted. It is clear that his actions became illogical which ultimately lead to his downfall. Moreover, Macbeth is influenced by his need to stay in power. ...read more.

Conclusion

For instance, the armed head was a symbol of his future, the bloody child represented that no man born from a woman would harm him and the crowned child holding a tree was a sign of Malcolm with his camouflage. These apparitions were clearly absurd and they represent the true turning point for Macbeth's loss of control. From that point on, with Macbeth's mind completely corrupted, it was sure that his reign as king was quickly coming to an end. Likewise, because of the witches, Macbeth believes he is invincible. It is this prediction that leads Macbeth to this way of thinking "Fear not Macbeth; no man born of a women shall ever have power upon thee." (Shakespeare V.iii.4-5) This prediction makes Macbeth delusional in thinking that he is invincible; this later leads him to take on the entire British army. That was Macbeth's last delusional action as he was killed by Macduff shortly after. In short, Macbeth's loss of control demonstrates that his mind is corrupted, which leads him to his death. In conclusion, the actions committed by Macbeth in order to obtain a position of power are those of a corrupted mind and they lead to Macbeth's tragic ending. His corruption is shown through Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's ambition, the many influences he encountered and through his madness. It remains to be seen whether or not Macbeth would have acted differently had his wife been less keen on becoming Queen. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Aziz ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. The influences of the Witches' prophecies on Macbeth's actions.

    Macbeth's fierce ambition is present before the witches' prophecies. He would never have thought seriously about killing Duncan without the witches. Yet the combination of both his ambitious nature and the initial prophesies leads him to kill the king. It is Lady Macbeth who states "Thou wouldst be great/ Art not without ambition."

  2. To what extent was Lady Macbeth responsible for Macbeths downfall?

    interrupted by Lady Macbeth's fainting - thus drawing his attention towards a different direction. The murder of King Duncan frightens his sons, Donalbain and Malcolm, hence they flee as they fear they may be the murderers next target. However, this puts them under suspicion as others suspect they are guilty of murdering their father hence are escaping from being caught.

  1. Was Lady Macbeth in control of Macbeth's fate?

    She wants him to look welcoming and innocent, but be ready to cause hurt and pain beneath the exterior. Here we see her controlling Macbeth's fate and learn that she has a deceptive appearance. When Macbeth is having doubts about killing the king while he is enjoying a banquet and

  2. Lady Macbeth's Control over Macbeth

    " Help me hence, ho!" Lady Macbeth actually goes one step further. Upon hearing the news of Duncan's death she pretends to faint, hence making it seem even more unbelievable that her and Macbeth have killed him. She once again shows her power in this tricky situation.

  1. Lady Macbeth's Character in Macbeth.

    This brings into the play idea of fate and the role with which it has in the play. It is more realistic to believe that Macbeth was responsible for his own actions throughout the play as in the end it was he who made the final decisions.

  2. Analyse the Macbeth's marriage during the play, and explain why and how it changed

    The use of a rhetorical question soothes and reassures Macbeth. Lady Macbeth's tone is no longer sharp and aggressive but relaxed and relaxed, changing the mood between the couple. The time soon arrives for them to commit the murder. Act two commences with Banquo sleepwalking as he has been having dreams about the Weird Sisters.

  1. Who is to blame for Macbeth's downfall?

    Macbeth still has a conscience at this stage because he is very hesitant about killing the king, but his weak nature comes over him. He has a conscience throughout the entire play as this is seen by the hallucinations of the dagger and the ghost of Banquo and his vivid imagination and his constant worry also provokes him.

  2. Macbeth - Excessive Ambition Leads to Downfall

    Throughout the course of the play "Macbeth" there are incidents that involve power and two or more characters; Shakespeare contrasts the actions of these two characters to attempt to show how different actions affect the futures of these people.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work