Machiavelli´s Principle in Macbeth by William Shakespeare Essay

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THESIS STATEMENT Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, applies the Machiavellian principles of how princes should properly conduct themselves which is directly applied through Duncan, Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and Malcolm. PURPOSE STATMENT Through analytic research, this paper will examine, as well as, compare and contrast the Machiavellian principles to the characters in Macbeth. The focus will include the influence of his principles, how they affect the characters, behaviors, and if they fit the description of a proper prince. INTRODUCTION William Shakespeare wrote Macbeth with the influence of Machiavellian principles in accordance with his characters. This statement can be supported by the characteristics he carefully coordinated within…show more content…
Through Malcolm, Muir states "a new era by bestowing new honours" (15) is created. King Duncan has the throne when the audience is first introduced to Scotland's kingdom. Shakespeare's first influence of Machiavelli's principles are observed in scene two. Bloom describes Duncan as "a generous, loving, and nurturing king" (25). Duncan was deceived by Macdonwald, a traitor and then-Thane of Cawdor, because he instilled too much trust in him. This violates Machiavelli's principle of love then feared and his improper usage of clemency. According to Machiavelli, "every prince ought to desire to be considered clement and not cruel. Nevertheless he ought to take care not to misuse this clemency" (1). Duncan continues to "misuse" his clemency in his reign. By placing too much trust in Macdonwald, a rebellion breaks out when he gets the first opportunity. In gaining ambition, Macdonwald is referred to as, "a rebel, for to that/ The multiplying villainies of nature/ Do swarm upon him" (Shakespeare 1.2.12-13). After he was supplied by Duncan with the necessary resources, it can be inferred that this is when he chooses to rebel. Due to Duncan's lack of cruelty, he is not able to enforce himself until it's too late. Unable to hold his kingdom together and oblivious of traitors, Shakespeare uses the influence of Machiavelli to demonstrate a weak king. One who chooses to be loved than feared, using to much clemency and little cruelty. Muir and

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