Struggle For Power In Macbeth

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“Power does not make the possessor evil; it is the possessor who uses it in evil ways” (Wilson). Since the beginning of time, power is a force that has been desired and strived for, yet feared by many. Although it often leads to harm, power itself is not destructive; “Like money, power is indifferent in its usefulness to the person who possesses it” (Wilson). In George Orwell’s, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and William Shakespeare 's, Macbeth, the desire to gain power and the fear of losing it, results in not only corruption but a malicious use of psychological manipulation and the demise of many. In George Orwell’s, Nineteen Eighty-Four, a fictional totalitarian society based on that of Nazi Germany and the USSR in the 1940’s, seeks limitless …show more content…
The novel is said to be George Orwell’s dark foreshadowing of the threat to democracy in the tense post-World War II period (Marshall). Set in Oceania, one of three intercontinental super-states dividing the world at this time, the novel follows Winston Smith and his forbidden love Julia through their struggle to rebel against Big Brother. Similar to Nineteen Eighty-Four, Shakespeare 's, Macbeth, also focuses on the struggle for power and Macbeth’s quest to gain and maintain it. The tragedy was written by Shakespeare as a tribute to King James I, and conveys the harmful effects that power can have on the innocent mind. Psychological manipulation in Shakespeare’s, Macbeth, often comes from people close to him, including his own wife. Just as Julia persuades Winston to risk his life in order to rebel against Big Brother, Lady Macbeth convinces …show more content…
The Inner Party’s true incentives are only revealed towards the end of Nineteen Eighty-Four, when O’brien, one of the leaders of the Inner Party states, "The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives” (Orwell 263). This comparison and explanation helps one to understand what makes the party’s methods so dangerous and effective. It is not until Julia and Winston are captured and charged with thoughtcrime that how far The Party is willing to go to preserve its absolute power is revealed. O’Brien explains, "We are not interested in those stupid crimes that you have committed, the thought is all we care about. We do not merely destroy our enemies, we change them" (Orwell 253). By determining a person 's worst fears, the Inner Party gains power over those who commit thoughtcrime, and manipulates their entire way of thinking. When faced with rats, Winston’s biggest fear, Winston betrays the one he loves the most and asks that the torture be done to her instead. When O’Brien asks Winston how one man asserts power over another, he responds with the Inner Party’s basis for most all psychological manipulation, “By making him suffer” (Orwell 266). The Party does not

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