what does macbeth suggest about what it means to be a good leader?

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sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Captain says this of Macbeth the warrior: “brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name), / Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel, / Which smoked with bloody execution” (1.2.18-19) to describe how brave he is in battle. We end up learning, however, that such is Macbeth’s approach to gaining power as well—but not leadership.  Macbeth the man does not discuss leadership, only power.  In the play Macbethwe learn about leadership through the conversation between Malcolm and Macduff in 4.3, when finally Malcolm describes the good leader by using Macbeth as an example what a leader is not. Malcolm says a leader must have integrity, hold  faith, lack avarice, be temperate. Malcolm says of himself: “What I am truly, / Is thine and my poor country’s to command”—and here is the heart of leadership, putting himself at the service of the good of his country (4.3.129-152).

renelane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From his actions on the battlefield, it is easy to see that Macbeth feels that you must take charge, spill blood, and be ruthless.

On his quest to be king and maintain the title, he still uses these techniques. Domination must be attained at all cost to be in control and powerful in Macbeth's eyes.