Theme: Power

The want for power corrupts

"I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition..."

(page 16)

  • no legitimate reason to kill Duncan
  • willing to kill a good man for power
  • ambition = his wanting to be king


"There is none but he whose being I do fear: and under him my Genius is rebuked, as it is said Mark Antony's was by Caesar."

(page 35)
  • speaking about Banquo
  • fears his own best friend because he could steal his power
  • plans to kill him


"Be bloody, bold and resolute; laugh to scorn the power of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth."

(page 54)

  • believes no one can kill him
  • ...but is paranoid enough to kill Macduff's family
  • plans to kill Macduff's wife, kids and servants in his castle