Narcissism In Macbeth And Othello

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Often when faced with troubles and hardships, people find an external influence to place the blame on for these events occurring. This type of behavior can be seen with most types of people in the world, and in the world of literature. In the Shakespearean tragedies Macbeth and Othello, various characters influence the title characters into committing immoral acts, including murder. Although influenced by many outside forces, the sole responsibility of their cruel acts falls onto Macbeth and Othello, as they are blinded by their narcissism to have any regard for those around them, are seen having changes of heart throughout the play driven by their craving for power and susceptibility to jealousy, respectively, and even express moments of self-awareness…show more content…
From the beginning, Macbeth’s intentions are made clear to the reader; he wants power and authority. After hearing that he will become king, Macbeth’s mind immediately turns to the thought of murdering Duncan as demonstrated in his aside where he says, “... Why do I yield to that suggestion / Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair / And make my seated heart knock at my ribs/ Against the use of nature?” (Shakespeare, Macbeth 1.4.134-37). If he were truly a loyal patron, this thought would not last as long as it did in Macbeth’s head, but his ambition transformed him. As Macbeth’s downfall advances he loses his integrity since his vision is clouded by his ambition and maintaining his rule. Macbeth’s mania gets to a point where, “[the Witches] no longer need to go and meet him; he seeks them out. He has committed himself to his course of evil… We have no hope that he will reject their advice; but… they make careful preparations to deceive him into [accepting it]” (Bradley 345). When his rule is at stake, Macbeth willingly tries to seek reassurance from deceptive, treacherous beings without thinking of the consequences. Additionally, Bradley wrote “and, almost as though to intimate how entirely the responsibility for his deeds still lies with Macbeth, Shakespeare makes his first act after this interview one for which his tempters gave him not a hint - the slaughter of Macduff’s wife and children” (345). Because he saw Macduff as a threat, without any hesitation Macbeth decided to kill the ones he loves because of his acquired ruthlessness. His goal of copious power led to the decay of his character and

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