nedyComparing the beginning of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. However,
nedyComparing The Murder of Duncan in Macbeth and The Assassination of KennedyThere is a man who is a head of state. He is a very powerful man and iswell liked by his subjects. The people love him. Then he is suddenly,inexplicably murdered.
Someone is blamed for the murder, but the entire countryknows the accused are innocent and are tools used in a cover-up. Does thissituation sound bizarre? Does it sound like some work of fiction? Well, it is.It is the beginning of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. However, it is much morethan that. It is real life. It is the circumstances that surrounded one of themost surreal periods of time in United States history.
It is the situationsurrounding the assassination of one of the US’s most revered Presidents, John F.Kennedy. These circumstances suggest that the events which occur in the playMacbeth are still possible.
It is possible for the circumstances surroundingMacbeth to be repeated in modern day America because no protection providesabsolute safety, some men are still willing to do what Macbeth did, and the ac tcould still be covered up.No amount of protection provides absolute safety. In today’s world, itis easier than ever to kill someone.
Any person can buy a cheap pistol and killsomeone. It is also easier to kill without being caught. There are long rangerifles and remote control explosives that can be used as the murder weapon whilethe actual perpetrator is far away. Also, it is easier than ever to find aprofessional assassin who will kill anyone for the right amount of money.
Theselatter methods could allow a person to commit murder and easily get away with it.Even though the actual murderer may be caught, the person financing theoperation could get away untouched.In Macbeth, Duncan was well protected by his guards. However, he wasstill murdered. The guards were overcome through a simple trick.
“The doorsare open, and the surfeited grooms Do mock their charge with snores. I havedrugged their possets..
.” says Lady Macbeth. She had drugged their drinks, andinstead of guarding Duncan, they were asleep. Macbeth was easily able to sneakpast them and kill Duncan.
Every precaution available had been taken to insureDuncan’s protection. It is not an easy task to get past two armed bodyguards ina cramped area. However, through some deceit, Macbeth was able to accomplishthis. This reaffirms the statement that no protection is absolute.Perhaps the best example that no protection is infallible occurs in theaforementioned situation involving President Kennedy.
Kennedy was in a movingvehicle. There were two Secret Service men directly behind him and countlessothers in the crowd. Dallas Police Department officers were placed throughoutthe area. Dealy Plaza, the site of the tragedy, was crowded, with manyobstructions such as trees, signs, and an overpass.
Protection was tight. Theday was beautiful. The sun was shining. The setting was not right forassassination. However, it still occurred. Kennedy was killed and the entirenation stunned.
There was a Secret Service agent very close, yet he was notable to stop the fatal bullet. The limousine driver did not speed up in time toget the President out of danger. The agents in the crowd were unable to preventthe deadly shots. With that many people, with all those pre-cautions, PresidentKennedy was still killed, proving that protection can be penetrated.
Since the beginning of time, man has wanted power. It is in his basicnature. It is what drives him. The history of the world serves to prove thisfact. Adam and Eve wanted power equal to God’s so they ate the apple.
Caesarstruggled to become king and to gain power and was killed for his aspirations.Napoleon had much power. He used it to conquer half of Europe. Hitler cravedpower so badly he plunged the world into a war that preceded the detonation ofthe atomic bomb. Men crave power. Some of them, like Adam and Eve, werewilling to sacrifice the perfect life to gain their power.
They had no jobs, nowake-up calls. They didn’t even have to wear clothes! Yet they were willing tosacrifice all this for the chance that they would have power like God. So welearn from the first story of the most popular book in the world that man iswilling to trade perfection for more power.Macbeth loved power. Otherwise, he would never have murdered Duncan.
Macbeth was willing to trade anything to be king. Macbeth was willing to”…jump the life to come.” if he could kill Duncan and be done with it.
Hewas willing to risk eternal damnation for a finite term as king of a smallcountry on a small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. How much moretempting would it be for a man to kill to gain the position as the most powerfulman in the world? The temptation would be tremendous. Macbeth had secondthoughts on Duncan’s murder going so far as to say “We will proceed no furtherin this business.”He was persuaded to commit the murder after many arguments.He does this to satisfy his craving for power.The President of the United States is the most powerful man in the worldtoday. This is why he is also in more danger than most people.
The temptationfor the Vice-President to kill the President would be great. Some say that thistemptation has even been realized. When Kennedy was shot, it was only a matterof hours before Vice-President Lyndon Johnson was sworn into the vacant office.Was it possible that Johnson had Kennedy killed? It is obvious that a massivecover-up was managed. The cover-up was arranged by someone in power.
Who hasmore power than the President? Johnson could easily have arranged such amassive smoke-screen. Men have killed for less and Johnson was in a position toprofit from the Presidency. He gained large sums of money from his constructioncompany in Vietnam.
It can be argued that Johnson prolonged the war purposelyso he could reap more benefits from the war in Asia. Whatever happened, Johnsonwas rewarded with much power after the assassination of Kennedy.Nobodywants to tell the truth if it might get them in trouble. A small child doessomething wrong, they will usually deny having done it. Teenagers often lie tocover-up their late night parties. Government officials lie to avoid scandals.They are all lies.
The only difference is the complexity of the lie and thenumber of people affected by it. A small child cannot lie very well. Teenagersare somewhat better at it. However, they are mere amateurs compared toprofessional politicians.
This is true for several reasons. Politicians havethe means to pay people to lie for them. Sometimes they can threaten to exposeother’s embarrassing secrets if they do not cooperate. There are othertechniques that these people use to hide the truth.
However, the fact remainsthat the more powerful the person, the better the cover-up.Macbeth was reasonably able to conceal the murder of Duncan. He didthis in textbook fashion. First, he found a scapegoat, Duncan’s guards. LadyMacbeth cast the suspicion on them by making sure “Their hand and faces were allbadged with blood, So were their daggers, which unwiped we found Upon theirpillow.
“Then Macbeth killed them, cutting off any chance they may have had ofdefending themselves, claiming “The expedition of my violent love Outrun thepauser of reason.” He had provided the perfect patsy. They were covered withDuncan’s blood, as were their knives. It would have been difficult to defendthemselves against this evidence even if they were still alive. But when theywere dead, no defense could be offered and they were assumed guilty.
So, ifMacbeth had quit with this one murder, he would have gotten away with his crimewith no consequences.Who could have known that almost the same exact circumstances would berepeated some 800 years later. After President Kennedy was shot, there had tobe a cover up. Someone had to shoulder the blame. Someone had to take the fall.Whether voluntarily or not, Lee Harvey Oswald was the man blamed with themurder of JFK.
His palm-print was on the rifle that fired the fatal shot. Hewas seen leaving the building from which the shots supposedly came. Oswald wasset up as the murderer from the beginning, the lone nut who killed the President.And like the fall guys in Macbeth, he was murdered before he was given a chanceto defend himself. This provides the perfect cover-up to be presented to theAmerican people. Oswald acted alone. He was crazy.
This provided a plausiblemotive and excluded any chance of a possible conspiracy scandal. The storypresented to the American public fit perfectly into the psychological make-upthat was supposedly Oswald. He was simply acting like he was supposed to andthis explained the murder of Kennedy. In the years following the assassination,more truth about the event has surfaced, rendering the Oswald characterimpossible. The people orchestrating the Kennedy cover-up made the same mistakeMacbeth made. They were unwilling to leave their story alone.
They tried tomake themselves more secure by killing key witnesses and doctoring evidence, butwhat they believed would make them safer, most probably aroused suspicions andtheir entire story became unbelievable. The conspirators in both situationsdiscredited their entire story by trying to secure themselves.Assassinating the President is a difficult thing to do. It doesn’thappen very often. However, it can be done.
If a person plans the crime, andexecutes it according to plan, he can succeed in killing the President. Theprotection afforded the President is tremendous but not infallible. Men arewilling to commit this crime in order to gain power. If a proper cover-up isplanned and executed, then it is effective. If all of these obstacles areovercome properly, a man can assume the Presidency while not one hint of blameis ever thrown his way. All of this has been proven in this paper.
It ispossible for the plot of Macbeth to be repeated in today’s world because noprotection provides absolute security, men are still willing to do what Macbethdid, and the deed could still be covered up.