Corrupting Force of Power: the tragedy Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Pages: 2
Words: 582


The lust for power influences people’s decisions, their ability to think soberly and act on the basis of principles. The tragedy Macbeth by William Shakespeare for whom the desire for power becomes decisive in the loss of humanity.


Macbeth’s actions to gain power begin with the assassination of King Duncan, after which Macbeth takes the throne. From this moment, the fall of his personality begins. He lies, blames others, and uses his position and trust of people for personal purposes.

After that, all of Macbeth’s actions are aimed at maintaining his position. He sends assassins for Banquo and his son out of fear that he might take power from him. Macbeth uses his position to convince weak-willed people that Banquo deserves to die. Macbeth’s lust for power also kills Macduff’s family and other characters.

Personality Changes

At the very beginning, Macbeth is a real hero, a leader who the warriors are ready to follow. He defeated the Irish, Macdonald’s, and Norwegian forces in battle. During this period, Macbeth is not yet capable of murder, he doubts the decision to kill for the throne and worries about the consequences. He was always loyal to the king and a role model, so suspicion does not fall on him.

After all the murders and deeds committed by Macbeth himself or at his direction, the reader sees the completely changed personality. He no longer cares about the consequences of actions or what they can lead to in relation to other people, he only cares about his own position. The death of his wife before the final battle does not upset him, and he is no longer capable of feeling pity or regret and only says this is not the right time “She should have died hereafter” (Shakespeare 120). In the tragedy, the pattern of his personality falls from the hero to an insensitive person, and death can be traced.

Lady Macbeth

From the very beginning of the tragedy, it is noticeable that Lady Macbeth has a strong influence on her husband. She is more decisive and perhaps completely makes decisions for her husband, pushing him to the required actions. Lady Macbeth desires power and rejoices when she receives a letter from her husband about the prediction of gaining power in the near future.

In the beginning, Lady Macbeth is sure that her husband himself will not dare to take action. She ridicules his doubts and cowardice and encourages him to get the throne. She pushes Macbeth in the direction of evil, supports and justifies such decisions, and takes part in their implementation.

Personal Participation in the Corruptive Actions

Lady Macbeth personally planned the murder of King Duncan. She decided that it would be easiest to kill the King after the feast. She says, “Leave all the rest to me” to ensure Macbeth she will be there to help him (Shakespeare 25). She uses her influence on Macbeth to force him to commit murder.

After the murder itself, it is she who helps to hide the traces of the crime. Macbeth is shocked by the situation, while Lady Macbeth remains calm. She also covers up Macbeth’s deeds with the fact that he is sick when he almost reveals his crimes at the table.


In conclusion, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are ready to use any tool to gain power and later to preserve it. They lie, kill, and use their position for personal gain. The death of both becomes a natural consequence of their actions.

Work Cited

Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. MIT Library, 1606. Feedbooks. Web.