Essay Sample on Bad Leadership - Macbeth

Published: 2023-03-08
Essay Sample on Bad Leadership - Macbeth
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Shakespeare Personal leadership Character analysis Macbeth
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 856 words
8 min read

Introduction To be a good leader, an individual must possess some qualities like kindness, tolerance and great wisdom. However, lacking good qualities of governance constitutes a bad leadership which is characterized by poor integrity, communication and greed. The aim of this paper is to discuss bad leadership as depicted by Macbeth. Macbeth is a bad leader because he refuses to discern the counsel that he is given.

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Bad Leadership

William Shakespeare's Macbeth is all about a catastrophic tale of a man who was thoroughly corrupted by power and greed, where his lousy leadership puts make him fall. As the play begins, Macbeth has a seamless position of becoming a great leader as well as an important man in Scotland. However, Macbeth is deterred from being such a leader since a few internal and external factors in his life make him thirst for power. The elements in his life include his wife, known as Lady Macbeth and his Weird Sisters. His conscience is a factor, and together with the other two contribute to the course of corrupting Macbeth, which eventually leads to his downfall.

Macbeth can be said to be born in leadership. In the first act, he possesses everything that he likes. He has already had attained a high and honourable position, which was further endorsed by the recompence of his new position as the Thane of Cawdor. Besides, he is recognized by King Duncan as a brave and heroic soldier, who refers to him as "My worthiest Cawdor" (Shakespeare 54). He had an opportunity of living a happy and prosperous lifestyle; those around him like soldiers and others near his home were aware of his bravery and good deeds. However, after he attains power, the story takes its first twist with. Good leaders are known to remain true to their values even after they achieve the position; however, Macbeth did not uphold his values once he started to get powerful positions.

He is not able to maintain the character he had before, which shows bad leadership devoid of sincerity. He gives a room to his Weird Sisters to influence his position, and they greet him "All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee. Thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be King hereafter!" (Shakespeare 53). He after that depicts greed for more power, especially after the first prophecy of being Thane of Cawdor comes true.

Again, good leaders are supposed, to be honest, and helpful to all people who are under them. However, Macbeth depicted bad leadership since he was never honest in all his actions. He was also not helpful as he was all for himself.

As the play progress, Macbeth is seen to be more concerned in being in control instead of attaining the qualities that are in good leaders. A good leader should have self-awareness. That means he is supposed to be role models. Furthermore, good leaders should make effective rational decisions all which lacks in Macbeth. His decisions only brought trauma in the country, which enhanced his downfall.

Macbeth also had an issue of trusting the advice of the wrong people. After his wife heard the prophecy of the three witches, she anticipates the likelihood of murdering Duncan. Macbeth had great temptations of power and wealth which made Lady Macbeth to easily persuade him to kill Duncan, which could be a depraved thing. Macbeth adhered to her persuasions since she told him that he would be more of a man if he can kill Duncan, "What beast wasn't, then. That made you break this enterprise to me? When you durst do it, then you were a man; And to be more than what you were, you would /Be so much more the man" (Shakespeare 58). Macbeth's judgment is very narrow, and also it is very impaired because there is conflict on what he should do that builds inside him. Macbeth will be able to protect his existence as King, through killing or destroying any threat between himself and his ambitions as a leader. He succeeds in killing Duncan.

Therefore, Macbeth bad leadership of greed makes him destroy whatever comes on his way. It is an indication of having ill ambitions. The bad leadership in Macbeth is still depicted by his idea of the way a man was supposed to be like. He states that a man must attain his ambitions in whatever form by destroying anything in his way, even if it is through murder. Eventually, he can realize that he has lost the vital qualities like honesty and integrity, which are the makings of a great leader as well as a respected person.


Macbeth is a bad leader because he refuses to discern the counsel that he is given. Macbeth foregone his values of bravery and bravery, which brought his tragic downfall. Macbeth exhibits bad leadership still in the way he uses evil counsel from close family members that makes him greedy, selfish and power-hungry. Eventually, Macbeth's climax of bad leadership is confirmed when he murders someone to attain a leadership position.

Work Cited

Shakespeare, William. The tragedy of Macbeth. Vol. 2. Classic Books Company, 2001.

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