Macbeth Quotes About Power

What quote shows that Macbeth is power-hungry in Act III of Macbeth?

A quote that shows that Macbeth is power-hungry in act 3 of Macbeth is in scene 1, where he says,

For them the gracious Duncan have I murdered;
Put rancors in the vessel of my peace
only for them; and mine eternal jewel
Given to the common enemy of man,
To make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings!
In this quote, Macbeth demonstrates his anger at the fact that his power will one day pass to Banquo's sons.

Expert Answers

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In act 3, scene 1, Macbeth shows how power hungry he is in the way he turns on his former close friend, Banquo. His fear of Banquo's "genius" and daring courage challenging his power overrides any feeling of friendship or loyalty he formerly had. Because he fears Banquo knows too much and might suspect that he murdered Duncan, Macbeth is determined to get rid of him. He exercises his power by hiring assassins and says he will
wail his fall
Who I myself struck down
Ironically, having the crown, which Macbeth thought would be the the very thing to make him happy and fulfilled, has not turned out that way. He has the power he craved, but with it comes the constant fear of losing it. Macbeth is beginning to wonder if being king is worth the price, and he feels bitter that all he has will go to Banquo's heirs. He therefore wants to undo any chance of Banquo's heirs having any of his power, even after he is dead, saying,
No son of mine succeeding. If ’t be so,
For Banquo’s issue have I filed my...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1012 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on March 27, 2020