There is a burglary every 8 seconds, a murder every 15 seconds, and a rape every minute. The common denominator between these statistics is choice. From great men like Martin Luther King, to tyrants such as Hitler or Stalin-they all had the opportunity to choose their path to reach their goal. Thus, the outcome and the impact these men had on history was solely through their actions. Had Hitler chose peace and believed in equality, his end result would have been much different than what is recorder today. Another profound example of a man with great potential who chooses a specific fate is Macbeth from Shakespeare’s Scottish play, Macbeth. This man is faced with an abundance of intricate decisions to make, either leading to riches, or unfortunately, chaos. He however, was not properly equipped to make such vital decisions, as he ends up utterly destroying himself and those around him. Macbeth’s descent into tragedy was sparked by his immense desire for power, his naive disposition, and the relentless guilt he accumulated as a result of his decadence; ultimately, revealing that choice can be a dangerous tool if possessed by one lacking in morality. Macbeth’s greed and lust for power plays a significant role in his eventual downfall. Firstly, in order for Macbeth to attain kingship, he agrees to take matters into his own hands and lewdly betrays and murders Duncan. Immediately prior to this deed, Macbeth experiences his first hallucination as he says, “Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my
hand"(Shakespeare.2.1.33-34). Here, Macbeth envisions a bloody dagger, while the real dagger is in his pocket unused. He now has the choice to either make this vision a reality, or to seize this ruthless plan. He chooses to go through with the murder, which is a manifestation of his immense lust for power, resulting from his immorality. This murder plays a significant role in Macbeth’s eventual downfall, as he attempts to evade his arrest throughout the play, causing a chain reaction. He continues on his gluttonous thirst for power, even though he knows that the steps he will take to get there are erroneous. Moreover, Macbeth’s next victim is Banquo in attempt to secure his position as king, even if it meant killing his best friend. He says, “Stars hide your fire, let not light see my black and deep desires” (1.4.50-51). This shows that Macbeth’s desire is purely to attain supremacy, which overshadows his respect to those he loves the most. Lastly, Macbeth turns to killing Macduff’s entire family, for the same reason he did Banquo; he was not satisfied in his situation. He feared Macduff, just as the witches told him to, claiming, “to be [king] is nothing, but to be safely thus” (3.1.47-48). He feels the need to kill anyone who comes in his way to achieve dominance, not realizing that this is the very reason for his failure. This is so because through this, Macbeth sparks the anger in Macduff, and gives him a better reason to take revenge, which he most certainly does end up undertaking. Macbeth’s yearn for power is a vital function which leads to Macbeth’s downfall, but it is his weak personality which allows this to happen.
Macbeth’s susceptible mentality paved the way to his death bed. Macbeth’s gullibility is first revealed when he hears the witches’ prophecies. Rather than considering what he heard, he jumps to the conclusion that It is true, as he says “Glamis and Thane of Cawdor: The greatest is behind” (1.3.116). This exhibits the beginning of the process of Macbeth losing his character to
his trustful nature. Secondly, Macbeth is easily influenced by Lady Macbeth, his dear and loving wife, or so he thought. She put on a show, and used Macbeth as a tool to attain power for herself. She fools him and taunts him by spewing emasculating remarks at him, “when you durst do it, then you were a man, and to be more than what you