Power And Corruption In Macbeth

1366 Words 6 Pages
Power is a force that should not be reckoned with and if it is used for evil instead of good, chaos will be unleashed. Shakespeare's play Macbeth, focuses on a tragic hero who desires to become the King of Scotland, and this overwhelming need for power ultimately consumes him. In Macbeth, the characters with power take actions that lead to corruption for themselves and for those around them. The witches in the play are powerful due to their ability to prophesize Macbeth's future and this is used to corrupt him. Lady Macbeth is another character that becomes sinister, as she desires power, and she is very influential in the transformation that Macbeth makes throughout the play. Lastly, the title character, Macbeth, desires to become King, …show more content…
This craving for power eventually leads to his ultimate demise. Shakespeare demonstrates how power corrupts by using Macbeth, who performs corrupt actions just with the thought of having power over others. Macbeth’s actions clearly demonstrate that the amount of power he obtains depicts how corrupt the acts he commits are. As he gains more power, his corruption becomes clearer and more destructive. “The air/ Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself/ Unto our gentle senses"4 It was said of the castle that "heaven's breath/ Smells wooingly here."5 These two quotes suggest the positive image that Macbeth is portraying as the Thane of Cawdor. He does not yet want to be king and therefore he is not driven to corrupt actions. "If chance will have me King, why, chance may crown me/ Without my stir.”6 This attitude is similar to his thoughts at the beginning of the play, which proves he has changed very little. However, later in the play it is clear that Macbeth did have "black and deep desires."7 Macbeth's views eventually change and he desires desperately to be King. When Malcolm becomes Prince of Cumberland, Macbeth considers this "a step on which I must fall down or else o'erleap/ for in my way it lies." 8 Macbeth begins his demise into evil actions with just corrupt thoughts but eventually tragic events ensue. Eventually, with the persuasion of Lady Macbeth, Macbeth decides to …show more content…
The corruption for power is evident in the beginning when Macbeth sends her a letter, recounting the event of his interaction with the witches and how he trusts in their prophecies. Lady Macbeth becomes motivated herself, and makes an effort to manipulate and control Macbeth to ensure their fate is sealed. She makes it obvious that she is willing to do anything at all, so that she will have the most power in the land of Scotland. “Come, you spirits/that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,/ And fill me from the crown to the toe top full/ of dirtiest cruelty. Make thick my blood.”10 Lady Macbeth loses her femininity and becomes the force and power behind the murder of King Duncan and she leads Macbeth to follow the same path. Lady Macbeth is persistent, and will do anything it takes to get her husband to change his innocent ways, so they can achieve the ultimate power. “Your face, my Thane, is as a book where men/ May read strange matters. To beguile the time/ Look like the time; bear welcome your eyes/ Your hand, your tongue; look like th’ innocent flower,/ But be the serpent under’t.”11 The corruption eventually begins to poison Lady Macbeth’s mind, and she starts to listen to her conscience and eventually guilt consumes her. “Here’s the smell of the blood still. All/ the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand./ oh,oh,oh!”12 Lady Macbeth

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