Is Macbeth a machiavellian character?

Decent Essays

" ...for how we live is so far removed from how we ought to live, that he who abandons what is done for what ought to be done, will rather learn to bring about his own ruin than his preservation".(Machiavelli 12) This is a quote from Machiavelli 's "The Prince". This is only one belief of Machiavelli, which, many great leaders have been known to use. Have you ever thought about a leader that possessed these qualities that was from a play? Shakespeare 's character Macbeth represents the Machiavellian idea that a ruler should appear well in public, be smart and strong, and do what is necessary to hold onto power. Shakespeare used imagery, and metaphors to portray Macbeth this way because, although he dies in the end, Macbeth still used …show more content…


Machiavelli uses imagery/ symbolism to show animals being certain characteristics, the fox being wit and slyness, and the lion strength and bravery. Just as Machiavelli wrote, his rule applies to Macbeth 's character in this quote.

"MACBETH Who can be wise, amazed, temp 'rate and furious, / Loyal and neutral in a moment? No man,/ Th 'expidition of my violent love/ Outran the pauser reason. Here lay Duncan,/ His silver skin laced with his golden blood,/ And his gashed stabs looked like a breach in nature/ For ruins wasteful entrance; there the murderers,/ Steeped in the colours of their trade, their daggers/ Unmannerly breeched with gore. Who could refrain/ That had a heart to love, and in hat heart/ Courage to make loves known". (2.3 105-115)

As Machiavelli wrote Macbeth is showing this idea. He is using his wit to say he killed to guards out of violent love for the king. This quick witty response not only added to the trust from people around him, but also it stopped the guards from coming back to defend themselves, and challenge Macbeth. Macbeth used imagery of Duncan 's body, which was so perfect and royal lying dead, still looking perfect and regal. Macbeth used this to make it seem that he loved King Duncan so much and he looked up so highly of him, he needed to kill the guards after what he they had done. Both Shakespeare and Machiavelli used imagery to show what a ruler needs in order to

Get Access
Get Access