Macbeth: How Money Killed Essay

767 Words Dec 17th, 1999 4 Pages
Macbeth: How Money Killed

Jerry Engstrom

Many of our friends at Wall Street have serious heart problems; some of
them even die years before they should because of the stress that is brought on
by the money and greed of Wall Street. Money is also evident as a health risk
in Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice, both written by William Shakespeare. On
Wall Street people are driven by the greed of the people they represent, their
own greed, and a general atmosphere of greed. In Macbeth, Macbeth is driven by
personal ambition and his wife to become king at any expense, including slaying
some of his personal friends and their families. Also, in The Merchant of
Venice, Shylock the Jew is driven by a hatred for Christians and personal
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Macbeth plots to kill Macduff's wife and child just because he didn't show up at
his party where he was being blundersome any way. Shylock's greed goes from
being a problem for Antonio to being a problem for himself. As Antonio's ships
failed to arrive on time, Shylock wants his part of the agreement fulfilled --
one pound of flesh from Antonio's body is the agreement. Although Antonio
pleads for his life, Shylock's greed is persistent and eventually they go to
court to settle. The tide turns when Portia shows up disguised as a lawyer.
"Of a strange nature is the suit you follow,/Yet in such rule that the Venetian
law/Cannot impugn you as you do proceed./To Antonio. You stand within his danger,
do you/not?" (4.1.180-184). Through some manipulation of interpretation of the
bond, Shylock is forced to give up all that he had worked for in order to not be
put on trial for plotting to murder Antonio. It is now evident that greed will
eventually triumph any man's heart.
Macbeth's greed kills him in the end. "Hail, King! For so thou art:
behold, where/stands/Th' usurper's cursed head. The time is free" (5.8.53-55).
Macbeth's life ends as the witches predicted, thus the tragic plot is complete.
Shylock the Jew's fortune and purpose in life ends as he looses all he owns to
his daughter and her new husband. Both…

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