The play Macbeth was written by WIlliam Shakespeare in the 1600’s. The whole play revolves around the theme of power. The theme of power is shown through ambition, betrayal and revenge using the symbolisms of sleep and blood.
William Shakespeare used the issue of ambition to portray power in Macbeth. Macbeth was driven by his ambition of gaining power. Macbeth’s hunger for power made him blond to the atrocities and iniquitous deeds he was performing. In Act 1 Scene 7 Macbeth is stating that ambition was his only motivation to kill Duncan.
“I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent,but only Vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself And falls on th’other.” Shakespeare used a horse metaphor to show the conflict of emotions in Macbeth’s mind.Macbeth thinks of his purpose to kill Duncan as a cavalry horse:but he has no motive to urge it into action so it stands still. Macbeth’s ambition is pictured as a rider springing into his saddle who overleaps himself and falls on the other side of his steed.
Macbeth means that his ambition to be king would inevitably lead him too far. The quote is effective in defining Macbeth’s drive to ambition. Ambition is used by Macbeth to take the power from Duncan.
William Shakespeare used the issue of betrayal to portray power in Macbeth. The issue of betrayal is shown throughout the play from the start when the Thane of Cawdor betrayed Duncan. Macbeth betrayed Duncan,his guest,king and relative by killing him to take the crown of Scotland. Macbeth betrayed his friend and colleague Banquo who stayed by his side when they were fighting against the Norwegians. Macbeth also betrayed Lady Macbeth his wife by dismissing her from formal duties. In Act 1 Scene 7 Macbeth is telling lady macbeth to hide their knowings of duncan’s murder under an innocent face. “Away,and mock the time with the fairest show, False face must hide what the false heart doth know.” Shakespeare used an iambic Pentameter to lend dignity and presence to Macbeth after his devious plans to kill Duncan. The quote is effective in showing that Macbeth would betray his king and guest and act innocent with the devious plan in his mind and stoop low just to gain what he wanted. Betrayal is the weapon that Macbeth used to gain power.
The issue of revenge was used by William Shakespeare to show power in Macbeth. Revenge was shown from the start of the play when the witches got revenge on the sailors wife who didn’t give the witches any chestnuts. Banquo got his revenge on Macbeth when he came back as a ghost and frightened Macbeth as well as embarrassing him in front of other thanes. Macduff got his revenge by killing Macbeth who slaughtered his family. In act 4 scene 3 malcolm comforts macduff who heard that his family was slaughtered by Macbeth by telling him to make revenge his medicine to cure his grief. “let’s make us med’cines of our great revenge
To cure this deadly grief”
Malcolm is telling Macduff to make the revenge on Macbeth, a medicine that would cure his grief. Malcolm is implying that revenge is sweet. The quote is effective in showing that macduff’s revenge on Macbeth was to cure his own grief caused by Macbeth. Revenge was the issue which made one person to rise up or fall down. Blood was a symbolism which helped to symbolize the issues that shows power in Macbeth. The word ‘blood’ occurs frequently throughout the play.
In act 1 scene 2, the wounded captain told a report which described the bloody war. Blood was also related to guilt after after macbeth had murdered Duncan. Once Macbeth and lady Macbeth embark upon their murderous journey, blood comes to symbolize their guilt, and they begin to feel like their crimes have stained them in a way that cannot be washed clean. Blood symbolizes the guilt that sits like a permanent stain on the consciences of both Macbeth and lady Macbeth, one that hounds them to their graves. The enormity of Macbeth’s crime has awakened in him a powerful sense of guilt that will hound him throughout the play.