Lack Of Power In Macbeth

1778 Words 8 Pages
Power is a constant struggle in society, but how far will people go to claim power? Can the thirst for power led to sin? Are there any repercussions from having too much power? The celebrated playwright William Shakespeare presents his argument about power in his famous play, The Tragedy of Macbeth. In The Tragedy of Macbeth, the eponymous Scotsman receives a prophecy from three witches that he’ll become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition for the throne and provoked by his wife, Macbeth murders the honorable King Duncan so that he can be the sole leader of Scotland. However, many thanes and sons of Duncan rebel against Macbeth’s despotic rule. Macbeth gains power by the act of killing; Macbeth loses his power and his life by the act of …show more content…
Daniel Dufala of Stockholm University describes how the scientific works of John Hall, Shakespeare’s son-in-law, influenced The Tragedy of Macbeth. Hall was a physician and had vast knowledge about the human mind and conscious. Shakespeare was able to gain an understanding about mental health due to Hall. He especially learned most about melancholy, “characterized by disturbances such as rage, anxiety, apathy, or deep sadness.” Through the illness of melancholy, the character of Macbeth is depicted as being paranoid and anxious once he becomes king. In the famous dagger scene in Act II, Macbeth believes that he sees a floating dagger in the air. Macbeth eventually has an epiphany during his monologue, asserting that the dagger is nothing but “a dagger of the mind, a false creation” (2.1.39). Since Macbeth is contemplating committing regicide, it’s clear that his mind slowly losing its senses. His mind also makes up the ghost of the slain Banquo in the dinner scene of Act III. Macbeth, noting the imaginative ghost, shrieks in terror while his guests are puzzled by his arbitrary outburst. He cries anxiously to his guests , “Ari thee, see there! Behold! Look! Lo! How say you?” (3.4.73). Macbeth is experiencing what Shakespeare considered melancholy to highlight his mind’s corruption from power and subsequent guilt due to the death of former allies. The guests - who are lords of Macbeth, who are men who wield power in Scotland, and who are loyal to Macbeth - don’t understand why Macbeth suddenly is in a state of morbid fear. Eventually, Macbeth assures his perplexed lords that he simply has a “strange infirmity, which is nothing” (3.4.90). Macbeth has to masquerade his outburst in order to appear mentally stable in front of his subordinates. Because of his personal knowledge with illnesses such as melancholy,

Related Documents