“I speak not as in absolute fear of you:/ I think our country sinks beneath the yoke;/ It weeps, it bleeds, and each new day a gash” . In this quote, Malcolm is talking about how Scotland has turned to ruins under Macbeth’s oppression. The country weeps and bleeds. Each day there is a fresh cut added to the wounds of Scotland. Macbeth cannot successfully run a country. A kingdom is the reflection of its leader. Macbeth’s true character and strength is shown through the health of his kingdom. Since he is ill minded and has wicked intentions, his kingdom does poorly due to Macbeth not genuinely care for his people. Therefore, his kingdom perishes along with his wife and himself. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s reign inevitably fails due to their greed and hunger for power. Power corrupts their minds, their actions, and the way in which they behave.
The crave for power corrupts Lady Macbeth’s mind. Corruption is first visible when Macbeth tells her about the prophecy of him becoming King, predicted by three witches. Once she hears about this prophecy, it feeds her growing hunger for power. Instantly, she hopes for this prophecy to come true. Her yearning for command and desire to be a queen, drive her thinking and emotions. An example of her horrible thoughts as a result of the crave for to become queen is seen through her reaction to Macbeth’s letters. She fears that Macbeth is not evil enough and that he does not have enough dedication or drive to carry out the crimes needed in order for Macbeth to become King. She says, “Art not without ambition, but without/ The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly/ That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false” . This quote shows that Lady Macbeth is willing to “play false” or act in corrupt ways to achieve the power she wants. Furthermore, along with Lady Macbeth’s evil thoughts, the ideas she plots with her husband proves that she has gone completely corrupt due to her desire for power. This is shown when she says, “To beguile the time,/ Look like the time, bear welcome in your eye,”. This quote shows how evil Lady Macbeth’s thoughts are and how power can cause one to be so corrupt. She wants her husband to look sweet, kind, and innocent from the outside but be corrupt, dishonest, and deceitful from the inside. Moreover, Lady Macbeth’s thoughts corrupt Macbeth and herself. These thoughts also encourage Macbeth to do bad deeds.
Since Macbeth continues to kill innocent people after Duncan’s death, this shows that power corrupts him. One of the witches prophecies is that Macbeth would become King of Scotland. The only obstacle in his way is Banquo. There is a prophecy of Banquo’s children being the successors to the throne and Macbeth did not like this. Macbeth hires murderers to kill Banquo and his son since he wants to stop this prophecy from coming to life. This can be shown when Macbeth says, “It is concluded. Banquo, thy soul’d flight,/ If it finds heaven, must find it out tonight”. This quote proves that Macbeth has trust in what the witches say since their prophecy on him becoming Than of Cawdor came true. Macbeth desires to stop the prophecy of Banquo’s children becoming the successors to the throne in order for him to become King. However, Macbeth continues to carry out terrible acts as he believes his actions will lead to the prophecy of him becoming King true. This can be shown when Macbeth says, “Stars hide your fires;/ Let not light see my black and deep desires” . This quote is important as it shows pre-planning on Macbeth’s part. Macbeth suspects that his ‘black” heart will be shown and the world will know of his horrible crimes. Macbeth wants to commit crimes but not face any consequences. Therefore, Macbeth keeps on committing bad deeds as the play progresses because he feels like he is getting closer to becoming King.
The crave for power causes Lady Macbeth’s behaviour to be malicious. Lady Macbeth’s powerful desires and corrupt thoughts can be shown through her behaviour. She says, “Come you spirits/ that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here/ And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full direst cruelty;”. In this quote, Lady Macbeth is asking for help from the evil spirits so that she can be able to carry out bad deeds in order for Macbeth to become King. Lady Macbeth also thinks her husband is being a dunce for being so troubled and tells him to give her the daggers so that she can complete the job precisely. This is shown when she says, “Infirm of purpose!/Give me the daggers; the sleeping and the dead/ Are but as pictures; tis the eye of childhood/ That fears a painted devil. If he do bleed,/ I’ll gild the faces of the grooms withal;/ For it must seem their guilt”. This quote shows that Lady Macbeth is not scared of the dead body of Duncan and that she is insensitive enough to blame someone else for the murder. This is significant in the play because it shows she is the power figure and masculine enough to carry out the bad deeds in her relationship. Therefore, Lay Macbeth’s hunger for power corrupts her behaviour. This causes her to think and behave in a malicious way.
Power corrupts Macbeth and Lady Macbeth from a simple prophecy told by three witches. These prophecies not only cause Macbeth and his wife to go mad, but it also puts a wedge in their relationship. As the play progresses, they come closer and closer on a spectrum of tension. Power corrupts Lady Macbeth and Macbeth through their thoughts, their actions, and their behaviour. This causes them to do bad deeds such as killing people to obtain power.