Power Of Fear In Macbeth

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In the extract, Shakespeare shows Macbeth’s determination to reach power and how the tyrannical king is willing to use fear and violence to get what he desires. We see that Macbeth feels threatened by Banquo and therefore wants him dead. As he considers his motives in killing the thane, Macbeth reasons that “There is none but he / Whose being do I fear: and, under him, / My Genius is rebuked.” Macbeth makes it clear that he fears Banquo above all others, and is mistrustful of him. Banquo’s ‘wisdom’ makes Macbeth feel foolish and weak, which is emphasised by the key word ‘fear’; the mere concept of Macbeth fearing a man who has made no move to hurt him only highlights the fragility of his position in power at this point in the play. The use of the aggressive verb ‘rebuked’ once again shows that, despite Macbeth experiencing no outward hostility from Banquo, he still feel as if he is in danger of being attacked and even usurped – perhaps due to Banquo’s evident “royalty of nature.” These largely unfounded fears make Macbeth feel as though he is illogical in fearing the thane, and therefore makes him question his own intelligence.
Alternatively, Macbeth is speaking hypothetically when claims that “under [Banquo] / [his] Genius is rebuked.” If Macbeth were to lose power and Banquo became king as Macbeth fears, it would make Macbeth seem foolish for imagining that he could ever retain such an undeserved position – a humiliation that he would do anything to prevent occurring. From

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