(ii) “Essentially the play Macbeth is about power, its use and abuse.” Discuss this view of the play, supporting your answer with the aid of suitable reference to the text.
Mark ex 60 by reference to the criteria for assessment using the following breakdown of marks.
60 marks A+ B C D E-
100% 60 – 51 42 33 24 23 – 0
30% 18 – 16 13 10 8 7 – 0
10% 6 – 5 4 3 3 2 – 0
Candidates are free to agree, disagree or partly agree with the view expressed in the question, but must focus on the use and abuse of power within the play. “Power” may be understood to refer to political, moral, ‘divine’, emotional, physical power, etc. In response, candidates may employ focused narrative to illustrate the points they make.
Code UP for use of power and AP for abuse of power.
Use of power
- Macbeth’s powerful presence on the battlefield
- Duncan’s use of political power is ineffectual
- Lady Macbeth uses her influence to support her husband
- divine power “healing” the sick and curing “the Evil” - Malcolm identifies the ideal of moral/political power
- the obsession with power dominates the story
Abuse of power
- the power of evil
- the excessive use of physical violence throughout - the witches’ prophetic power deceives their victims
- Lady Macbeth’s emotional blackmail
- the tyranny of Macbeth’s reign xxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxx x x x x x x x x x x xx x x x x x x x x x x xx x xx x x x xx x xx xx xx
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