Macbeth and Malcolm as Leaders

             Comparison of Macbeth and Malcolm as Kings and Leaders of men
             Shakespeare's Macbeth is a politically centered play, it dramatizes the contrasted effects of power and authority upon a land. It is a play of political figures and ambition, of power and authority, of order and disorder, and of the restoration of peace. The central concern of the play is the issue of legitimate and illegitimate kingship; Shakespeare concentrates upon succession, regicide, usurpation, and the abuse of power, or tyranny. The leadership and thereby kingship of Macbeth and Malcolm are evaluated through all of the characters presented on stage. All of the characters, including witches, serve the play in acting to make, support, or destroy a king. This evaluation of kingship extends to all three Kings within the play, a victim in Duncan, an ambitious tyrant in Macbeth and a steady-handed heroine in Malcolm. Shakespeare holds the play to this focus through the simplicity of the plot. The dramatized struggle between the dictatorial regime of Macbeth and the more heroic movement led by Malcolm to perform what is seen today as a political shift to the left from right wing is a timeless focal point that allows for comparisons between Shakespeare's Macbeth and regional conflicts throughout history.
             The driving force behind Shakespeare's Macbeth is the effect of ambition and conscience upon a nation when it occurs at the highest levels of society. Macbeth’s weakness of character is the ambition which clouds his rational thoughts. Macbeth's lunge for the throne is the result of his great ambition, this is the product of his mind alone and not of other characters. Ambition is the basic flaw that Macbeth has received from Shakespeare to pave the rest of the play; Macbeth's “vaulting ambition” (I.vii.27) is the substrate awaiting catalysis by other characters to create a great tragedy. For the weak-minded Macbeth, the only method of mental ration...

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Macbeth and Malcolm as Leaders. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 02:43, January 20, 2017, from