On March 16, 1988, Saddam Hussein launched an attack on people in his own country. 5,000 Kurds were dead, and 7,000 were either injured or had long-term illnesses. The attack was in Iraq’s city of Halabja and President Hussein only attacked because the Kurds did not support him, and he was retaliating. This ruthless destruction of innocent people proves that still in the world today there are people who are greedy, have ruthless ambition, and do not care how many lives they destroy, only if they can end up on top. In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare, the main character was described as a greedy, heartless, and ambitious individual who was swayed into evil and let his ambition take control of his life. Even thought that Macbeth was written over 400 years ago, people today such as Martha Stewart, Jeff Skilling, and Saddam Hussein compare with the character Macbeth in many ways.
“I have given suck, and know tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me; I would, while it was smiling in my face, have plucked my nipple from its boneless gums and dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this.” (1.7.55-60) This quote from Macbeth shows how ruthless the character Lady Macbeth was and how she could murder her child if she swore she would. This compares with the brutality of Saddam Hussein and his attacks on his own Kurdish people. Only because the Kurds did not agree nor support Saddam and his regime, he said he would take measures to destroy them and he did.
He launched chemical and biological weapons in the city of Halabja and the city along with its people are still trying to recover from this massacre. In Shakespeare’s play, the character Macbeth killed King Duncan and Fleance because those were the two people in Macbeth’s way, and prevented him from becoming King of Scotland. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein killed all of the people who opposed him and made himself the only person running for president because he scared everyone else. If someone else was thinking of running, or tried to, Saddam made him suddenly “disappear” and won the next election. This verifies that Macbeth relates to the current world; by having people still stop at nothing, destroying everything in their path, to achieve their goals.
“Look like th’ innocent flower, but be the serpent under ‘t.” (1.5.65-66) This quotation is when Lady Macbeth is telling Macbeth to pretend to be a nice and heartwarming host, but underneath he is a nasty beast. This compares with Martha Stewart in the present day. She appears to be a nice and perfect role model for all people, but underneath is a villainous serpent. For example, Martha Stewart bought almost all of the flowers from one small business owner, and promised to pay him back. Weeks passed along with the months. Eventually the business had to declare bankruptcy because Stewart never wrote down that she was going to pay the owner back, and ran out of money.
This establishes that Martha Stewart is a horrible person who cares for no one but herself. In Macbeth, this relates because Macbeth killed his best friend Banquo because he knew too much information, and Macbeth thought he was a threat, and had him killed. Even though that Banquo was a friend to Macbeth his entire life, Macbeth thought that he was a little pest and just had him killed in the blink of an eye. This validates that Macbeth relates to the current world, by having greedy people who think only about themselves rise up in the world and surpass their goals, but leaving all their friends and everyone they loved behind in a bloody trail of death.
“The castle of Macduff I will surprise, seize upon Fife, give to th’ edge o’ the sword his wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls that trace him in his line.” (4.2.150-153) This quote is right before his henchmen go to kill Macduff’s innocent child and wife. Macduff was the person Macbeth wanted to kill. Macbeth had nothing against Macduff’s wife and child, and Macbeth only wanted to kill them to make Macduff angry. Jeff Skilling, the CEO of ENRON is also guilty of destroying the lives of people under him. He was charged with insider trading, wire fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy, and making false statements. As compared the Macbeth, Skilling took the pensions away from hard-workers who were looking forward to big pensions after they retired. Many people lost their jobs and lots of money when Skilling was CEO of ENRON. Skilling could stop at nothing, even though he had millions of dollars, his ambition could never be satisfied. Both Macbeth and Jeff Skilling are the same in respect to they both do not care about people, and their ambitions are never satisfied.
Overall, Martha Stewart, Jeff Skilling, and Saddam Hussein all relate to the plat Macbeth because they all were ruthless individuals. Greed, hatred, and driving ambition were all contributing factors that Macbeth shared with the three people. The thirst for having unlimited power and stopping at nothing to achieve that goal was a trait for both Macbeth and Saddam Hussein. The greed and complete disregard to others equally compares Macbeth with Martha Stewart. The driving and unrelenting ambition was a quality that both Macbeth and Jeff Skilling shared. Many people believe that William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is one of the greatest books of all times. This is because no matter what time period, the ideas represented in this play are still common traits in the current world.
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