Essay on Power and Greed - Macbeth

Words: 1748
Pages: 7

Power and Greed: The Driving Force behind the Story of Macbeth The rise of an individual and the gain of power can often be intoxicating. This control placed in the hands of one can often ignite thoughts and actions of greed found deep inside. This can often be seen in the history of civilization as countless leaders have neglected the good of their people to fuel their own selfish desires. Lord Acton once expressed, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This is embodied in the play, Macbeth by William Shakespeare as numerous characters abuse power to manipulate and destroy the lives of many. Though the examination of, Lady Macbeth, the three witches and Macbeth, it becomes apparent how the gain and loss of …show more content…
Had the witches told Macbeth his full prophecy, he would have realized the danger associated with him attaining the throne through ways of murder. However the witches, blind with their power, were too corrupted to realize that. Similarly, the witches also manipulated Macbeth by their unclear prophecies. When Macbeth returns to meet the witches for more on his prophecy, he is given the wrong information as the witches produce an apparition that states, “the power of man: for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth” (4.1. 80-81). This prophecy is very misleading because it gave the impression to Macbeth that he will not be killed so soon, which boosted his ego as he continues his tyrant ruling over Scotland. Likewise the corruption that had taken over the witches had once again blinded them from the fact that with this new found information, Macbeth would continue to tyrant the land. Thus by the witches power over Macbeth’s fate, their actions and thought become corrupted. Although it is evident that many characters have become corrupted through their gain of power, it is most apparent in Macbeth as his gain of kingship eases his use of murder, makes him more self centered and isolates him from his family. Much like Lady Macbeth, the audience can see a change in character in Macbeth over the duration of the play. However whereas Lady Macbeth starts to reject the use of murder as the