The struggle for power lies at the heart of the drama Macbeth. It shapes and changes the title character Macbeth, leading him down a path of moral corruption, crime and tyranny; eventually to his death. Ambition; stirred by the three witches’ prophecy of Macbeth becoming King, Is the fatal flaw that causes this tragic hereof downfall.
Lady Macbeth shares her husband’s longing for power and uses him to achieve control.
The murderous actions of Macbeth and his wife have dire consequences, particularly he tremendous guilt that clouds their consciences and the deaths of innocent lives. Shakespeare comments on the negative effect that the struggle power has through the dramatic techniques of the characterization of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, and the symbolism of the crown. Macbeth explores the destructiveness that a longing for power can have through the characterization of Macbeth. Macbeth is a perfect example of a tragic hero, as his character begins as a well-respected Thane, who has fought bravely for his country.
However, Machete’s ambition is the tragic flaw that causes his downfall, as he becomes so thirsty for power that his moral views are obstructed and he commits the murder of King Duncan, and orders the murders of Banana and Macadam’s family. Machete’s desire for power overrules his morality. This is shown through his speech: “l have no spur/ To prick the sides of my Intent, but only/ Vaulting ambition which &erleaps itself/ and falls on the’ other (Act 1, SC. 7, II. 25-28) Macbeth regrets that he is motivated only by ambition and not by some more rotor motive.
Those propelled by ambition often end up worse than they were before, once the deed is done, which is evident in Machete’s case. As Macbeth undergoes change throughout the play, he becomes a ruthless and ambitious man who loses sense of his conscience and sanity – willing to go to extremes for what he wants. The development of the character Macbeth presents self-destructiveness as a result of desiring power. The playwright’s main focus In Macbeth is concentrated on the demonstrating the struggle for power, which Is highlighted by the horse-trading of Lady Macbeth.
Lady Macbeth eclipses her husband’s desire for power, and uses his ambition to achieve her own goals through manipulation. Using the female approach Lady Macbeth cleverly influences her husband to murder King Duncan, by questioning his manhood; “When you durst do it, then you are a man” (Act 1, Scene 7). Because Lady Macbeth is even more ruthless and ambitious than Macbeth, she is able to push him past his good morals, convincing him to kill King Duncan, and consequentially creating the conflict in the play.
Lady Machete’s desire for power is so strong that she asks the gods for her to be made more like a man, as she sees the male sexes the holders of power. Expressed through her speech: “Come you spirits/ That tend on moral thoughts, unsexes me here/ And fill me, from crown to the toe, top full/ of direst cruelty… ” (Act 1, Sc. 5, II. 42-44) The length at which Lady Macbeth Is willing to go to gain power, and the consequences of her evil actions, conveys the fatal consequences of seeking power.
The symbol of the crown In the play supports Machete’s fatal flaw of ambition as detrimental. The crown represents the natural order and is usually associated with authority, kingdom and in Machete’s state of mind. It seems that he is still not content after becoming king, as he feels that his power is threatened by Banana. In Act 4, Scene 1, Macbeth is haunted by visions of the crown. Macbeth recognizes through the image of the crown that his ambition” has the potential to destroy him.
It is Machete’s unconscious knowledge that he has acquired the crown through evil and despicable means that ensures he is haunted by his fears and unable to rest in his kingdom. The symbolism of the crown reinforces the idea put forth by Shakespeare that desiring power is dangerous, as the metaphor refers to natural ascendancy and the order of things, such as they are supposed to be. The struggle for power is demonstrated negatively by Shakespeare in the play Macbeth, through the characterization of the two main characters; Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
Their lust for power proves to be the cause of tragedy in the play, as it leads to the death of hose two characters. The technique of denouement displays a catastrophic ending not only for Macbeth, but for many others: The death of Macadam’s family, Duncan, Banana, and oppression of the people of Scotland. Macbeth and Lady Machete’s selfish ambition therefore brings devastation and the desire for power is conveyed as a destructive quality, as it can lead to fatal consequences. The plot of the play Macbeth revolves around the struggle for power that Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have.