Below is an essay on "Macbeth" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.
Kingship is a major theme in Shakespeare's Macbeth. We see that kingship is a central theme around which the whole story revolves. In Shakespeare's time it can be said that the king of a country was seen as a divine appointment who had absolute power and was expected to guide and protect his people. The play Macbeth represents us with four different kings, Duncan, Macbeth, Maklcom and Edward. By contarsting these three, Shakespearesgives us a better understanding of what kingship means.
The first image of royal power we see is of King Duncan. It is immediately apparent that his reign has been neither peaceful nor successful. We first see Duncan on the battlefield, receiving news about his own army has defeated the Thane of Cawdor. even at this early stage, we can see a growing sense of uneasiness about Duncan's position as King. We also learn that Scotland is being invaded by armies from Norway. At the execution of Cawdor we find out why his reign has been blighted by war. Duncan recalls the trust he had out in Cawdor but he does not learn from his mistake as he is to repeat it again with Macbeth, resulting in fatal consequences.
Trhoughout the play, the crown is a symbol for Scotland's decline into violence and terror. We can see how strong and powerful the attraction of kingship is. It proves to be the reason for the tranformation of Macbeth from a brave and loyal hero to a merciless 'butcher'. It is clear that the words of the witches and of lady Macbeth helps to persuade Macbeth to give in to his one fatal flaw which is ambition. Because of his obsession with the kingship, Macbeth has been reduced from being 'valours minion' to stabbing an old man while he slept. The tragedy is that Macbeth could have been a noble king. Unfortunately for him and everyone in Sscotland, he allowed his 'black and deep desired' to win.
To the poor people of Scotland Macbeth becomes a cruel tyrant. But as readers we can see the inner turmoil that is being brought to Macbeth....