Corruption of Power (Macbeth)

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Imran Chaudry
Ms. Shepard
English 12

Corruption of Power

“Power corrupts and absolute power, corrupts absolutely,” (Lord Acton). In the novel of Macbeth, the power of evil wraps around Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Any type of power can corrupt a person and in this novel, it is evil. Webster defines evil as something, morally reprehensible or arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct. All actions of Macbeth are in fact immoral; he kills, lies, and deceives other people. This evil corrupts his mental health but does so bit by bit. I believe that power always corrupts but in different ways, obvious and others more subtle.

In the story, a reader can comprehend Macbeth’s greed as power that the witches gave indirectly by their prophecies. Although Macbeth did not fully believe them, he was still curious and started taking their prophecies to be factual. Three of the few prophecies that they had made were: (1) Macbeth would be king; (2) Macbeth would be king until the forest itself would march forth to siege him (3) No man or woman born would harm Macbeth. Macbeth’s death was caused by his and his wife’s poor judgments, not the witches. However, the witches did know about his death though, “He will not be commanded. Here’s another / more potent than the first” (Act IV, Scene I). Macbeth’s greed for power was the cause of many tragedies in the novel. He was responsible for the death of his cousin Duncan and also the death of his friend Banquo.

Just for Macbeth’s own ambition to be king, he is willing to murder Duncan. Unfortunately, Macbeth starts to realize that his action is blasphemous because Kings are sent to the throne by God, but his aspiration to be king still drives him to do that very evil action of killing for the throne. Lady Macbeth finds the idea of Macbeth being king fantastic because that would make her the queen. With this intent she uses her intelligence to Macbeth’s plan to murder Duncan...
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