Macbeth Machiavellian Analysis

723 Words3 Pages
The Tragedy of Macbeth is a play written by Shakespeare, an old English playwright, in 1606. It was published during the reign of King James I of Scotland and tells the story of a king and his tyrannical rise to power in Scotland. In 1513, Niccolo Machiavelli wrote The Prince, which is a written set of criteria that is supposed to be met by any good ruler. Focusing on chapters seventeen and eighteen of The Prince, one can come to conclude that King Macbeth does not meet such criteria. With that, Macbeth is not a proper Machiavellian Prince because he cannot mask his deeds with a pretense and is unable to keep his subjects united.
Towards the beginning of the play, Macbeth was an esteemed soldier, known to be brave, valiant, and nationalistic,
…show more content…
However, Macbeth is unable to keep his people united, with or without the use of brutality. For example, Agnus, a fellow Thane to Macbeth, said “Those he commands move only in command, Nothing in love. Now does he feel his title hang loose about him, like a giant’s robe upon a dwarfish thief.” (V.II.19-20) Here, not only does Agnus belittle Macbeth by calling him a ‘dwarf’, highlighting how low he views Macbeth, but he also points out that Macbeth's armies do not love him. Unity, which Machiavelli point out, is the joining together of a group of people. If people close to Macbeth, such as his army, do not love him, then there is no possibility of unity or a joining together of a whole upon them. If Macbeth is not united with his army, then there is a very low possibility of him being united with the remainder of his people.
Machiavelli's book, The Prince, holds key criteria to becoming a successful prince or ruler. These criteria are meant to be followed by any ruler who wishes to be considered triumphant in a Machiavellian sense. Macbeth, an old scottish king, is debated to be a successful Machiavellian king. However, using evidence from chapters seventeen and eighteen of The Prince, one can conclude that Macbeth is not, in fact, a successful king. This is because he can not manage to put forward the fronts that he must in order to keep his subjects ignorant and because he is unable to keep unity among his

More about Macbeth Machiavellian Analysis

Open Document