Examples Of Greed For Power In Macbeth

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Thematic Claim: Greed for power may drive certain people to insanity.

Macbeth:
No sane person goes on a killing spree, and it is greed for power that drives Macbeth to the murders of many. In the story, Macbeth begins as the Thane of Glamis. He is already a large contributor in battle and this leads him to success early on in the plot. However, he doesn’t realize that he wants more power until he is told prophecies by three witches, and his wife- Lady Macbeth manipulates him. In the prophecies, he is told that he will become Thane of Cawdor, and then King. Macbeth is named Thane of Cawdor by King Duncan after the battle in the beginning of the story, so part of the prophecy comes true right away. It is not until Macbeth tells Lady Macbeth about the prophecies through a letter, that Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to kill King Duncan to obtain the throne. King Duncan is Macbeth’s first murder to begin his reign for power. He is now throned King, but his greed for power doesn’t stop there. Macbeth kills anyone who he feels threatens his title as King. He has loyal companion Banquo killed because he feels Banquo might know that he killed King Duncan-if Banquo told others, this would lead to the de-throning of Macbeth as king- taking away his power. Insanity in Macbeth truly shines through when he kills Banquo, because of their close relationship. Banquo was nothing but loyal to Macbeth throughout the story. As the plot thickens, the witches continue to tell prophecies to Macbeth. One of them being that he should fear Macduff. Macbeth then kills Macduff’s family as he fears Macduff will somehow dethrone him. As people who were once loyal to Macbeth betray him, Macbeth continues to strive for power as king, until he is defeated by Macduff. Ultimately, Macbeth begins the story as a noble, respected Thane, but his ambition and greed for power as King/staying King leads him to insanity full of murder and deception, until his death.

Lady Macbeth:
Lady Macbeth reveals her greed early on in the tragedy of Macbeth. She convinces Macbeth to kill King Duncan in order to fulfill the prophecy that the witches gave Macbeth (becoming king). Her manipulation of Macbeth shows how she supports murder in order to obtain more

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