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Macbeth Conflict Analysis

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While themes of power and controversy are rich in many of William Shakespeare’s plays, The Tragedy of Macbeth offers a glimpse at the intense role the fight for power can have unlike any of his other works. Not only does Macbeth elaborate on the causes of the struggle for authority, but it also features the effects this struggle has on those involved. One specific instance is that of Malcolm attempting to regain the throne by recruiting the Thane of Fife, Macduff, in Act IV Scene 3. This conversation between the two men not only expands upon the cultural values of the time period as they present themselves through various goods and evils, but it also provides insight on the personal values of the two characters. Furthermore, by…show more content…
In the monologue, it seems that Malcolm’s main purpose is to make Macduff realize that Malcolm was untruthful when he claimed to have immoral qualities unfit for a king and present himself as loyal to his country and even Macduff. He begins by explaining that Macduff’s “noble passion, / Child of integrity,” his honorable outburst, has replaced his suspicions about Macduff with reverence (4.3.133-4). He then mentions, almost as an excuse, that “[d]evilish Macbeth / By many of these trains hath sought to win me / Into his power” (lines 136-8). This also references to how Malcolm feels about the current king of Scotland a well as an earlier occasion between Malcolm and Macbeth. Next, Malcolm spends the rest of the monologue attempting to clear the lies “[he] laid upon [him]self” (143). He mentions the lies he told earlier by explaining how he is the opposite of them as well as stating them in the same order in which he spoke them dishonestly (144-9). For example, he first claimed that he was incredibly lustful and would rape women, then, correspondingly, he begins to redeem himself by saying, “I am yet / Unknown to woman” (144-5). Given the monologue’s literal meaning, it does not seem, at least on the surface, that Malcolm is presenting himself in any way but as an honorable gentleman, however, much is revealed about his emotional state, especially in the last line when he tells Macduff that he “[i]s thine . . . to command” (151), as he completely opens
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