Virtue and Man Essay

634 Words Sep 30th, 2008 3 Pages
Honor
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. (Abraham Lincoln) Throughout the ages, many have spent their lives on a quest for power, believing that power holds the key to all they desire. Yet power, with its illusive duality, may enable one to accomplish amazing feats or result in ones tragic downfall. In Macbeth, the character of many power hungry men was put to the test, and each respond differently based on the traits they possess. For many different characters in Macbeth, Shakespeare entwines the traits, which epitomize a man, none of greater importance than ones honor. Throughout Macbeth, many of the characteristics that embody a man vividly display
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Each of the traits previously mentioned serves a man well; however, a man has little without honor. Lacking that crucial trait prevents one from attaining many things, including that of reaching one’s full potential. To impress upon Duncan the importance of this quality, Macbeth remarks, “Which do but what they should by doing everything / Safe toward your love and honor” (I iv 29-30). Yet Macbeth, a man once honorable, strays from his good heart and begins to entangle himself into a web of deception and evil. By abandoning his most precious characteristic, honor, Macbeth has all but committed himself to a tragic downfall. Feared as a tyrant, Macbeth’s struggle with temptation afflicts many men. Many a man, once noble in their ways, have unfortunately chosen a road of evil and paved their own destruction. Macbeth laments, “And that which

should accompany old age, / As honor, love, obedience, troops of friends, / I must not look to have . . .” (V iii 28-30). At this point near the end of Macbeth’s life, he realizes the fatal mistakes he has made, yet his realization comes too late. Though once an honorable and respected man, the road he has chosen proves to be one of no return. Although Macbeth ruinously, fell to the hands of evil, the triumph of good directly correlates to the traits of those men who put and end to his tyrannical rule. Macbeth’s destruction ideally reiterates the words said by Mr. Lincoln and impeccably proves his point. God’s

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