Comparing Washington and Macbeth: The Fate of a Nation
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George Washington and MacBeth were two historic figures who were
influential in determining the fate of their nation. Both were ambitious
men living during perilous times, yet each charted a different course for
himself and his country when faced with the lure of power. Washington
fulfilled his ambitions by devoting his life to creating a nation, while
MacBeth was ignorant his responsibilities to his country, in turn
destroying it and himself.
Throughout his whole life, Washington yearned for power. As a young
man, he wanted this power as a British officer. Later, as a Virginia
gentleman, he sought power in the forms of honor and wealth. His ultimate
rise to power eventually came when he was pronounced general of the
colonial militia in the war against Britain. It was under his command that
the colonial militia emerged victorious against the British. However, in
defeating the British another threat to American democracy had been
released. This threat was Washington himself. Washington had the colonial
militia under his control. He could have easily performed a “coup dД©tat”
and seized control of the newly freed nation. However, Washingtons
ambitions were not to become a dictator, or king. He believed that power
did not come from controlling others, but from the honor and respect that
was given to him. Washington knew that this power would only come from
subordination to civilian authority. He would be a precedent by being the
first general to turn down his immense powers. With these actions,
Washington assured the success of a new democratic nation.
MacBeth, like Washington, was power hungry and very successful in war.
However, he felt that power came from wealth and control over his

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Colonial Militia And Lure Of Power. (July 12, 2021). Retrieved from