Trust is a very fragile thing, it takes time to build and can be broken in seconds. In modern society, it would be foolish to completely trust everyone. These days there are just too many people willing to take advantage of one’s trust for benefit. But does that mean one should be completely guarded against everyone? Of course not. Family relations are trustworthy. As are long-time friends. The problem is, as life goes on, we are forced to meet with new people with whom we must make the decision of whether to trust or not. The effect of incorrect usage of trust is exemplified in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. King Duncan had evidently put a vast amount of trust in Macbeth, when he rewarded Macbeth with the title of Cawdor in addition to Macbeth’s already inherited title of Glamis. This addition of power bestowed on Macbeth would substantially increase his status, being second only to the king and his lineage. To trust someone is to be able to leave yourself vulnerable in their presence, and expect nothing wrong to happen. There are people in the world who will take your trust and treasure it, while there are other people in the world who will take advantage of your trust and deceive. We already know what to do when encountering these people, the hard part is identifying them as trustworthy or not.
Trust is not an emotion. Rather, it is produced from the emotion of vulnerability. King Duncan had indeed left himself vulnerable in Macbeth’s hands, and Macbeth had realized the amount of trust Duncan put in him when he stated to Lady Macbeth that he did not want to partake in any murders. Macbeth’s weakness, as mentioned in the play, was that he was too kindhearted. Lady Macbeth constantly exploited this weakness, by using the trust Macbeth had in her against him. After assuring him that it was simple and the only way to prove his manhood, Macbeth relented, thus killing Duncan. This was the act that broke Duncan’s trust in Macbeth. It wasn’t said explicitly in the play, however, but who would trust the man who murdered them? Malcolm and Donalbain, Duncan’s children, had also been able to embody this breaking of trust, when they fled to England and Ireland. Macbeth had broken Duncan’s trust for power. This makes the argument that trust is not broken without reason. Macbeth had a reason to break Duncan’s trust; a temptation which clouded all other factors, allowing Macbeth to only see the beautiful palace, but not the deadly path that led towards it.
Trust must be built over time, but can be shattered in a second. After breaking once, to gain one’s trust again takes a vast amount of effort and sincerity. Macbeth, after taking the throne, did not even attempt to gain the trust of the land which he took over. This lack of trust resulted in many people who were dissatisfied with his rule, namely Macduff. Macduff had realized the horrific actions that Macbeth was doing, and began to plan a rebellion with Malcolm. Had Macbeth built a little trust in Macduff before doing such vile things, perhaps Macduff would not have gone to convince Malcolm to fight for the throne. Lady Macbeth also began to lose trust in Macbeth, when he failed to comply with their plan and adding more steps without her approval. For example, Lady Macbeth had planned for Macbeth to kill Duncan and blame the guards, but when Macbeth came back with the bloody knife in hand, Lady Macbeth got some blood on herself as well. She was forced to deal with the guilt face-to-face, which was not planned. Macbeth, trying to secure his lineage, sends people to kill Banquo and his son Fleance. This was also against the plan that Lady Macbeth had originally agreed to. As Lady Macbeth lost trust in Macbeth, she slowly began to descend into a state of madness, as the actions Macbeth was taking had been sparked by her.
As Shakespeare has shown in his play Macbeth, trust is a powerful thing. When used incorrectly, it can have negative effects. Although some of the examples in this play were a little extreme, it still goes to show that trust is indeed very fragile. Although it’s not an emotion, everyone has a sense of trust, which they must apply to everyday life. If applied incorrectly, it can lead to disastrous effects. In King Duncan’s case, it was death. In most other cases in life, it could be losing a large some of money, or loss of reputation, or loss of a friend.