Essay about Power and Greed - Macbeth

1736 WordsApr 22, 20137 Pages
Power and Greed: The Driving Force behind the Story of Macbeth The rise of an individual and the gain of power can often be intoxicating. This control placed in the hands of one can often ignite thoughts and actions of greed found deep inside. This can often be seen in the history of civilization as countless leaders have neglected the good of their people to fuel their own selfish desires. Lord Acton once expressed, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This is embodied in the play, Macbeth by William Shakespeare as numerous characters abuse power to manipulate and destroy the lives of many. Though the examination of, Lady Macbeth, the three witches and Macbeth, it becomes apparent how the gain and loss of…show more content…
The corruption of power through knowledge can become large when the sensitivity of this information is not realized. This is shown in the witches’ use of their knowledge of Macbeth’s fate; their consideration for the possible consequences does not seem to be visible throughout the entire play. This is also pointed out by Hecate in the play as she exclaims: To trade and traffic with Macbeth In riddles, and affairs of death; And I, the mistress of your charms, The close contriver of all harms, Was never call’d to bear my part (3.5. 4-9). The scene shows the three witches lack of consideration of the outcome of their prophecy as they did not consult with their higher power, Hecate over whether they should tell Macbeth of his prophecy. Their thoughtless actions caused for many deaths and much corruption amongst themselves and the entire country of Scotland. The witches’ gain of power furthermore corrupted them as they did not tell Macbeth his full prophecy. When the witches first tell Macbeth of his fate the first witch states, “All hail Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis!” (1.3. 48-50) This is then followed by the second witch claiming “all hail Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!” and finally the third witch states, “All hail Macbeth! That shalt be king hereafter!” the prophecy given can be seen as false as they suggest that Macbeth is to be king for a long time when they state “hereafter”

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