Power Struggle and Ambitions in Macbeth by Shakespeare

Published: 2021-07-10
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University of California, Santa Barbara
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In the modern literary studies, a theme is defined to as the general topic a text gives. A number of the plays composed by Shakespeare have an element of the relationship between the characters; the relationships in many occasions affect the play direction. I the Macbeth, the long-lasting relationship between the tree witches and the Macbeth creates the foundation of the whole plot. The following paper will discuss the key themes of the play Macbeth, and how other characters influence the theme.

Ambitions without clear judgement

When the tree witches and Macbeth meet, he perceived them as honest and had hope in what they said. Having established a connection with the protagonist, the witches affect and transform his beloved wife. Macbeth finally realized that the witches had heinously betrayed him. Macbeth was a brave Scottish general who had no desired to associate with any immorality acts, though he yearns for advancement and power. Without clear judgement, Macbeth wet ahead to kill Duncan and a short time later is troubled with paranoia and guilt. Towards the finish of the play, he falls into a sort of unglued, arrogant madness (Shakespeare and Braunmuller, 89). On the other hand, Mrs. Macbeth strives to reach his goal with more determination; however, she is not capable enough to withstand the consequences of her wicked deeds. She is the powerful character in the Shakespeare literature works, she incites her husband to murder Duncan and further urged him to be courageous in the aftermath murder; however, she is finally pushed to trouble due to the Macbeth's endless bloodshed that was stimulated by her morality. Every instance of ambition, which was characterized by the couples who were driven to commits murder, was ushered by the slur prophecies given by the three witches. Ambition as the major theme of the play alludes that, violence is used to stimulate their search for power. The potential threat to the throne was eliminated, such threats included Macduff, Fleance, and Banquo; violence was the only means used to dispose of them (Shakespeare and Braunmuller, 92).

Tyranny and Kingship

Duncan is being identified as a King all through the play, while later Macbeth is referred as a tyrant.' The distinction between the two types of the leaders is explicit on the conversation in the Act 4, scene 3, where Malcolm and Macduff meet in England. The loyalty of Macduff to Scotland is tested by Malcolm when he fakes that he would become a wicked king more than Macbeth. Furthermore, Macduff is told of the reproachable character traits such as the desire for personal power, violent character, which precisely characterizes Macbeth. In the other case, M Malcolm says, The king-becoming graces / [are] justice, verity, temprance, stableness, / Bounty, perseverance, mercy, [and] lowliness (4.3.9293). Then, an ideal king provides the kingdom with a quintessence of order and fairness, together with affection and comfort. In his watch, subjects are given depending with their virtues, at a time when Duncan. In his reign him, subjects are awarded with respect to their merits, as during the compilation of Duncan to Macbeth Thane of Cawdor following the conquest of Macbeth over the assailants (Shakespeare and Braunmuller, 89).

One of the key things is that the Kings has to be loyal to Scotland. BY contrast, Macbeth brought chaos to Scotland, characterized by the rough weather together with the strange supernatural incidences, and no justice actions, instead, there were incidences of capricious murder to the individuals who were seen as a threat. As the personification of tyranny, he needs to overcome by Malcolm for the Scotland to have a real king.


There is the recurrence of hallucination and visional through the play, and they are reminders of the collective culpability between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in their increasing body contact. The moment Macbeth was nearly to kill Duncan, a penknife which was covered with blood appeared to him, floating in the air and pointing at the kings chamber; a bloody dagger denotes the bloody path that Macbeth is nearly to encounter. Soon, Banquos ghost appears to him, while sited at the chair at a feast, stabbing his integrity by silently retelling him of his responsibility in the death of the past friend. Also, the apparently tough Lady Macbeth, finally gives way to visions, while she was sleepwalking and thought that blood had covered both of her hands, which is permanent such that it can't be washed with any quantity of water. In all the cases, it is vague whether the vision is authentic or hallucinates; but, in the two events, the Macbeths interpreted both as the supernatural manifestation of their contrition that was brought by their actions (Alessandro 165).

Conclusively, the central themes of this play are based on its plot all through, Shakespeare included the witches in the play to have the influence to the protagonist of the play and therefore creating the desired theme for the play. It is desirable to conclude that, some of the major themes seen in the play include, ambitions, leadership, and hallucination.

Works Cited

Alessandro De Vivo. William Shakespeare: An Analysis of Macbeth's Character. Munchen: GRIN Verlag GmbH, 2009. Internet resource.

Shakespeare, William, and A R. Braunmuller. Macbeth. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997. Print.

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