Theme Of Hunger For Power In Macbeth

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The eternal hunger for power has always been one of man’s most basic desires; often this lust leads people to make irrational decisions. There is no better literary example of the human fault than Macbeth. Much like any other person Macbeth’s ambitions take him down a dark path of confusion and violence. Macbeth's actions, aided by the Three Witches and Lady Macbeth, ultimately lead to destruction. Macbeth’s insatiable hunger for power is mostly caused by two major factors; being easily influenced by those around him, and the immense guilt of his actions.How can a paragon of virtue such as the shining hero Macbeth fall into something as evil as the murder of King Duncan? It boils down to the people around …show more content…

After prophesying that Macbeth will become king, the witches tell Banquo that he will not be king himself, but that his descendants will be. Later, Macbeth in his lust for power sees Banquo as a threat and has him murdered; Banquo's son, Fleance, escapes. The prophecy awoke the sin of Envy with Macbeth; he feels that his destiny is to become King and rule with all the power that goes with the kingship. Shakespeare uses the two Macbeths as symbols for who really controls the power in the world. Powerful rulers can make decisions for themselves of course, but they also have an established group of well-informed advisors ready to aid them at a moment’s notice. Through this theme of feigned power Shakespeare exposes the weaknesses of despotic rulers and gives Macbeth a universal moral. Guilt is a huge theme in Macbeth and seeing as this play was first performed in 1605, the year of the Gunpowder Plot, the play would be politically charged. Shakespeare shows the murderers of a king tormented by their own guilt and driven to their doom. Banquo first introduces the theme of guilt when he says "Why do you start and seem to fear, /Things that do sound so fair?" The word 'start', meaning to jump with shock, is always associated with a guilty reaction. Macbeth’s guilt even takes physical form when he envisions a bloody knife leading him to murder Duncan. The murder itself is purposefully not shown so

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