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Everyone at some point in their life wants to have more power than they already do. This statement includes Macbeth. Macbeth wants power more than anyone does. However, he doesn’t earn his power the right way. In the tragedy Macbeth, Shakespeare uses imagery, characterization, and conflict to show that the desire for power corrupts.
In Macbeth imagery helps show the thoughts of people in the play. The first example of imagery is when Macbeth compares the murderers to dogs. From this example it appears that Macbeth thinks of himself as a high and mighty man. He thinks of them as no good people, but at the same time he is also a murderer. Even though he tries to act better than the murderers, the play shows that he really doesn’t think of himself as a very good man. One reason that shows the reader that Macbeth refers to himself as having evil thoughts is the line that states his mind is full of scorpions. Someone having a mind full of scorpions is someone who must have many evil thoughts because people don’t think of scorpions being good. This sets the mood to be very dark. This play doesn’t have many happy thoughts. Imagery makes the reader understand the thoughts of the characters without directly showing them.
Characterization is also important because it gives the reader the background of the character. Macbeth shows many traits throughout the play. When Macbeth visits the witches and orders the murder of Macduff’s family it shows that he no longer has any morals or hesitation. He also appears that he doesn’t care what other people think of him. This is not a good trait for a king because he represents a whole kingdom and if he doesn’t care about anyone but himself then people will start to hate him. One of the people that begin to dislike him is his own wife, Lady Macbeth. She appears to be a strong willed woman. She persuades Macbeth to kill Duncan in order for Macbeth to become king. She starts to insult him by telling him to be man and go through with your thoughts. This trait that she has back fires. After Macbeth began to go through with everything they talked about, she became insane. This led her to suicide. Both of these characters had the same goals and it led them to death.
Conflict is another important element used in Macbeth. The most important conflict is Macbeth vs. himself because it shows his battle with his conscientious. Throughout the play he is pondering on what to do. He begins to feel much guilt at the beginning. After he kills Duncan he can’t sleep because of guilt. He talks about how all the water in the ocean couldn’t wash away the blood on his hands. Another conflict that is important is between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is trying to persuade Macbeth to kill Duncan. They argue and discuss their plans. However their relationship changes. They begin to feel hatred towards everyone because they have sinned. This leads them to not even talk to each other. The last conflict is Macbeth vs. Macduff. Macbeth becomes king and Macduff doesn’t show up at the crowning. This makes Macbeth realize that Macduff doesn’t respect him. Macbeth gets mad and orders to kill Macduff’s family. After Macduff’s family is killed, Macduff wants nothing but Macbeth to be dead. The conflict ends when Macduff murderers Macbeth.
Although Macbeth got the power he wanted, it came back to haunt him. He was murdered. Shakespeare used imagery, characterization, and conflict to make Macbeth a tragedy not to be forgotten. People need to remember to always do the right thing even if appears to be the hardest way to get what they want.
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Characters in Macbeth, English-language films, British films, Regicides, House of Moray, Macduff, Macbeth, Gruoch of Scotland, Fleance, Lady Macduff
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