Corruption In Macbeth

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The Pursuit of Power Providing a Crowning Corruption Ambition for power is a classic driving force that creates depravity in a character and can sometimes even lead to his/her ultimate downfall. This lust for power can lead even the purist of characters to turn into a degenerate. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the desire to obtain and protect one’s power and the change it brings to a person’s character is a pivotal theme, which is especially epitomized by Macbeth. Through Macbeth, Shakespeare argues that power transforms the individual who assumes or desires it into a corrupt and manipulative being. The beginnings of Macbeth’s fall into corruption occur when Macbeth starts to consider the prophecy of the witches and envisions his rise to…show more content…
In both Act One and Two, Lady Macbeth was portrayed as the dominant partner in the relationship and a driving force behind Macbeth’s corrupt actions to take the throne. However, in Act Three Scene Two, Macbeth now as king and possessing the power he longs to protect, takes on the role of the dominant partner in the relationship and no longer needs Lady Macbeth to convince him to carry out his eventual evil deeds. Macbeth even goes as far as to keep Lady Macbeth out of his plans to kill Banquo and Fleance by telling her to “be innocent of the knowledge dearest chuck/Till thou applaud the deed” (III.ii.45-46) showing that he is not only capable of conceiving and carrying out his own sinister deeds but no longer needs Lady Macbeth’s help or approval of…show more content…
In Act Four, during Macbeth’s last encounter with the witches, the reader witnesses how Macbeth demands the witches and their apparitions to “answer [him]/To what [he asks them]” (IV.i.60-61) and arrogantly only takes the apparitions’ messages literally so that their messages favor what he wants to believe. When compared to how Macbeth reacts when the witches first approach him, their prophecy leaving him speechless and analyzing whether or not/how that prophecy will come to fruition, Shakespeare clearly conveys how much Macbeth’s power has gone to his head. The immorality of Macbeth’s character is deepened in the very next act when he sends for Macduff’s defenseless wife and child to be killed only for the purpose of furthering the safety of his own power. His corrupt character even shows through while preparing for battle and on the battlefield. His wickedness is first portrayed in Act Five when he mocks a fearful servant giving him news of the enemy approach as a “lily-liver’d boy” (V.iii.15) and when he demands the doctor cure his wife of her mental illness although the doctor explains that he can do nothing for her. His evil character develops further when Macbeth learns of Lady Macbeth’s death and judges “she should have died hereafter;/There would have been a time for such a word” (V.v.17-18) and that the life of the woman who helped him earn the

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