Monday, September 2, 2019
The Search for an Honorable Leader in Hamlet and Macbeth Essay
The Search for an Honorable Leader in Hamlet and Macbeth Hamlet clearly defines a good leader in this passage in Hamlet; "Look here, upon this picture, and on this, The counterfeit presentment of two brothers. See, what a grace was seated on this brow; Hyperions' curls; the front of Jove himself; An eye like Mars, to threaten and command; A station like the herald Mercury New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill; A combination and a form indeed, Where every God did seem to set his seal To give the world assurance of a man." Act III Sc. IV He states that an individual must attain the qualities: grace, leadership, well roundedness, and reverence. Using Hamlet's definition, Macbeth would be considered the exact opposite and in many ways the antagonist to Hamlet's assertion of honorable leader. Macbeth contained qualities that tarnished his prestige in the blink of an eye, and his lack of ability to process certain decisions he made revealed his innate character which was ultimately beheaded. One of the most important characteristics for a prosperous leader to have is grace, which Macbeth knew nothing about. He was a war-hero, and was uninterested in what society perceived him to be. His superstition and dependence on the witches visions show his weakness as a character, and especially as a leader. His beliefs in the witches eventually lead him down the wrong path when he returns to the witches for another proclamation of their visions, which all are apparently true, but misunderstood by Macbeth. In the end, as the visions become reality, Macbeth realizes that he has failed to grasp a hold of the tangible aspects of his life, and wa... ... loudly for him." (Act V Sc. II) In his closing statement, Fortinbras shows his grace and well-roundedness by honoring Hamlet, and understanding that he too went through what Fortinbras himself had to go through his entire adult life, living without his father. For those reasons, Fortinbras is a true leader, and the best representation in these two plays of a leader according to Hamlet's definition. In both plays, many characters are portrayed as being multi-layered, and viewed through many perspectives. Many characters are presented as one thing, but as the play continues, the layers peel, and the character is quickly defined as something different. As Macbeth fought to keep sane, his leadership was hastily tainted. Fortinbras on the other hand, kept his mind set on his goal, and achieved it proving him to be the true leader.