The Effect of Power and Confidence on Macbeth

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Words: 957 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Apr 21, 2022

Words: 957|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Apr 21, 2022

How can social status change someone’s life and his personality? In Macbeth, Shakespeare creates a greedy character who changes from being dependent on others to act and think to one that can make his own decisions. This is a very good example of the effect social status may have on some people. Macbeth’s life changes after he is crowned King, as he has something he never had before: power and confidence. These things enabled Macbeth to act and think independently, I decided to represent Macbeth’s character by drawing him following Lady Macbeth’s orders while acting innocent, hiding his true intentions and by drawing the scene when he sents murders to kill Banquo and Fleance. Macbeth needed others to tell him what to believe and what to do, he had no conviction in his beliefs and thoughts. Macbeth at first had to follow others, he was living someone else’s life. Macbeth’s judgement on some situations changed radically due to others, an example is his reaction to his new titles, which was completely changed because of the witches and then he decided that chance will have him crowned, but that thought changed to the opposite.

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Macbeth at the beginning of the play had his own opinions but there was no conviction behind them. Macbeth was able to judge situation but his perspectives always changed after hearing from others. Macbeth’s reaction to his new title was that he shouldn’t be dressed in borrowed robes, but then after that, when he hears the prophecies he is visualizing himself in the King’s robes while the King was still alive, that radical change was because of Lady Macbeth. Macbeth’s beliefs change from reacting with indifference to the prophecies “if chance will have me king, why, chance may/ crown [him]/ without [his] stir.” to acting the opposite way he purposed because of Lady Macbeth.He believed that he shouldn’t do anything to make things happen faster but again those beliefs changed after he succumbed to Lady Macbeth’s ideas. Macbeth’s position on killing Duncan drifts from “[a] thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical”, to the reality of killing Duncan because of Lady Macbeth.

Even after his thoughts were manipulated, he still had to be motivated by others to act. To kill Duncan he needed Lady Macbeth’s encouragement to act.  Killing Duncan was Lady Macbeth’s idea but it shows how Macbeth’s thoughts can be manipulated, how his ideals and beliefs lack conviction, and how he needed of others not only to think but also to encourage him to act. To represent Macbeth’s dependance and malleability I chose to draw him following other’s orders; that is, “acting as the innocent flower, but being the serpent undern’t it” like Lady Macbeth told him to act.  Social status and position had a great effect on Macbeth, after he was crowned he had something he had never had: conviction and confidence to act and think as he purposed. Being crowned gave Macbeth power which subsequently gave him confidence to believe in his own ideas, not someone else’s. Macbeth’s growth in confidence also meant a grow in ambition. Power and confidence enabled Macbeth to kill without remorse, he felt he was in a position he could do such thing and also a need to do so. Macbeth at first was unwilling to kill (Duncan) but after he becomes King he no longer hesitates to take strong measures and kill his enemies. After being crowned Macbeth was able to plot his own plans, to decide by himself. Macbeth decided on his own that Banquo, Fleance and McDuff’s family were to be killed. When he wasn’t in power he wasn’t able to decide by himself. Macbeth was not willing to take any risks in his quest to remain in power so he didn’t waver when he needed to take strong measures “The castle of McDuff I will surprise,/  seize upon Fife, give to th’ edge o’ th’ sword,/ his wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls” and was not afraid of killing because of the confidence being in power gave him.

Initiative and conviction were born in Macbeth. I represented his gain of independence by drawing the scene were Banquo is killed and Fleance flees, one of the few decisions he makes because of his own beliefs, not others’ beliefs. Macbeth changed again at the end of the play when he is about to lose power. He starts to feel insecure after he visited the witches and the apparitions. He was scared that they told him he’d be defeated when the forest moved to a hill but at the same time he was reassured because trees do not move and because he was also told no man born out of a woman would hurt him. Macbeth wasn’t completely reassured by that, so he still took measures in killing Banquo and McDuff’s family because he didn’t want to take risks. Macbeth says that life is useless, pointless. Macbeth looks again like he did at the beginning of the play, he is afraid of killing, he fancies to solve the conlfict avoiding killing someone “of all men else I have avoided thee. My soul is too much charged with blood of thine already” because the possibilty of losing power worries and scares him. Macbeth feels insecure because he is contemplating the possibilty of losing his power, which means losing his source of confidence.He realizes that life is pointless but he was referring to his life and his efforts to be King, for he “wore a fruitless crown” in the senses that he had no children who would inherit the throne and that all his efforts were worthless, for Banquo’s sons would benefit from his them. This final change of becoming afraid and insecure is represented by the scene where Banquo is killed and Fleance fled to the forest that was so feared by Macbeth. Macbeth changes from needing others to think and decide for him to an independent character who can decide for his own throughout the play. When Macbeth was about to kill Duncan, he was uncertain and needed Lady Macbeth’s motivation and moral support. After killing Duncan he went on to be able to plan on his own and kill many others without remorse, that was thanks to the benefits of being King like being in power and confidence.

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At the end of the play when Macbeth is about to lose power he first loses the benefits of it, he becomes insecure and afraid again. When he was facing McDuff in battle he felt he already had done enough killing, that it was time to stop, for the first time since killing Duncan he wasn’t at ease while killing. Macbeth changed to being insecure again because all his emotional stability and confidence relied on his social position, when he was at risk of losing his position he felt afraid, therefore he wasn’t confident anymore.

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The Effect of Power and Confidence on Macbeth. (2022, April 21). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2024, from
“The Effect of Power and Confidence on Macbeth.” GradesFixer, 21 Apr. 2022,
The Effect of Power and Confidence on Macbeth. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 May 2024].
The Effect of Power and Confidence on Macbeth [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 21 [cited 2024 May 28]. Available from:
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