When Power Falls Into The Wrong Hands In Macbeth Philosophy Essay

826 words (3 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Philosophy Reference this

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Power is as the ability to do something or act in a particular way. Power is the capacity to influence the behaviour of others, the emotions or the course of events, as defined in the Oxford dictionary. When power falls into the wrong hands one has several options where one can acquire anything, lie, cheat, steal and even kill. Corruption on the other hand is when someone acts dishonestly usually in power in return for money or personal gain. Corruption is a very sinister trait that controls and destroys people’s lives. Friends turn into foes and soon everything starts to change. In the play, corruption is motivated by greed and deception. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s power grew and power corrupted leading them to their downfall. Power corrupts Macbeth, Lady Macbeth and Macduff in the play Macbeth and their mind, soul and relationships.

To begin, power corrupts Macbeth and his mind, soul and relationships through a variety of ways which are all very evident in the play. In the beginning the three witches approach Macbeth and say “All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!” (1.3.53). All three witches predict that Macbeth will soon become king and Macbeth starts to believe as the prophecy comes true. Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, plot to kill the present king Duncan making it seem like the chamberlains murdered him getting them drunk the night before. When Duncan is discovered the next morning dead, Macbeth kills the chamberlains for their crime of killing Duncan and easily assumes the kingship and the throne. Out of fear for the rest of the witch’s prophecy to come true Macbeth hires a group of murderers to kill Banquo and his son Fleance afraid that he will seize the throne. Power has corrupted Macbeth changing his mind set about life. He went from a loyal, trustworthy, and honourable person to murderer intent on killing one of his close friends. Macbeth’s relationship with Duncan and Malcolm fade and disappear as power slowly corrupts him. Power has taken over his relationships with his peers and slowly everyone starts to dislike Macbeth. Comparing him to a popular leader who slowly gains power and corrupts would be Adolf Hitler. Out of all the other characters he is most corrupted. In the end he is killed and the throne is turned over to the rightful heir Malcolm. Therefore, Macbeth is corrupted by power and in his mind, soul and relationships.

To continue, power corrupts Lady Macbeth and her mind, soul and relationships. Lady Macbeth is very determined does whatever it takes to get the throne; she is very unpredictable and manipulative. She influences Macbeth to follow her commands and he always follows through. Corruption filled her mind and soul taking her and her husband as well. She is the one who encourages Macbeth to kill King Duncan. The reason she does this is because she wants more power and wants to become queen. Lady Macbeth says things such as “…look like the innocent flower,/ but be the serpent under’t ” (1.5. 72-73). Macbeth has some fears about killing his friend Duncan but Lady Macbeth questions his masculinity by manipulating him that if he was a real man, he would kill Duncan. Therefore, Lady Macbeth is corrupted by power and in her mind, soul and relationships.

To finish, power corrupts Macduff and his mind, soul and relationships. Macduff is different from the previous two characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth through his wants and needs. Macbeth and Macduff are unalike because he knows what is right from wrong and also never wants the crown for himself but instead he wants it for the rightful owner. Macduff knew that Macbeth had murdered the king and Banquo and he was not happy about it. Near the end of the play, Macduff got help from Malcolm to make weapons for his army. “Let every soldier hew him down a bough,/ And bear’t before him; the thereby shall we shadow/ The numbers of our host and make discovery/ Err in report of us.” (5.4.6-9) Meaning they will hide the size of the army, and Macbeth’s guards will give false reports of Macduff. As the fight ends Macbeth is killed, and Macduff survives. Macduff is just as sinister as Macbeth, he still will do whatever it takes so that Macbeth does not become king. His intentions are for the good of the town as opposed to Macbeth. His relationships with his family is gone because they were murdered. By having courage to feel his grief, Macduff converts his pain into sweet revenge. Therefore, Macduff is corrupted by power and in his mind, soul and relationships.

To conclude, power corrupts three characters Macbeth, Macduff and Lady Macbeth and their mind, soul and relationships. With power one can get too overwhelmed and make life threatening decisions without fully thinking. Power corrupts the mind and soul by taking over. Friendships and romance relationships are ruined.

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