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

    Here we see initially the guests were being served and their was civilised order but that was then interrupted by Macbeth's murderer, followed by the ghost of Banquo, hence bringing forth disorder. From this scene alone we see how Shakespeare presents order and disorder through the actions and speech of the characters.

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

    Before the speech that Lady Macbeth gives in act one scene five, Macbeth is resolved not to go through with the killing of the king.

  1. Lady Macbeth's Character in Macbeth.

    The witches could foretell the future, they can add temptation, and influence Macbeth, because they had told Macbeth that he would be King he became impatient and tried to hurry it as quickly as he could. but they can not control his destiny.

  2. Responsibility of Macbeth's Death

    King Duncan announces that his son, Malcolm will be the new Prince of Cumberland. Macbeth sees Malcolm as a threat to what he now takes seriously as his destiny to become King of Scotland, a major turning point in Macbeth's changing morality.

  1. How does Macbeth's state of mind deteriorate and how is this shown in the ...

    If the witches had never greeted him as King on Scotland, then he would probably never have contemplated killing Duncan in the first place. Banquo warns Macbeth that the witch's predictions might lead to evil. Which he is right to do so as it is the witches who 'inspired' the murder of Duncan.

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

    "Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty," this part or her soliloquy shows us that Lady Macbeth wishes to get rid of all her feminine qualities and fill herself with cruelty and evil.

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

    Macbeth is saying how much he is enjoying being famous and powerful. Surely if he were to become king he would definitely have more power, and undoubtedly gain more compliments. However he is still debating what to do as he realises that it was Duncan who gave him the power

  2. What was the main cause of Macbeth's downfall?

    Furthermore, the darkness mentioned in line 49 of this scene 'come thick night... Smoke of hell', gives the impression that there is some reference to the witches, and the assumingly unnatural fog from the opening scene. Many argue that this is evidence proving that the witches do have a hand in this plot.

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