Notions of Power: Animal Farm and Macbeth

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“Political Power grows out of the barrel of a gun”
-Chairman Mao-

QUESTION: To what extent does this quote connect to the message regarding power in each of your texts?

Write a synthesis essay that deals with the quote above and Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Orwell’s Animal Farm.

In your essay ensure that you specifically refer to each of texts including quotes and analysis.

“Political Power grows out of the Barrel of a Gun”

The idea of power and especially political power has its many definitions, and is used, explored, and even exploited, featuring in all human experiences in the struggle for authority and dominance. The theme of power is widely explored in the two texts of Macbeth by Shakespeare, the famous satirical George Orwell text of Animal Farm, and also through the Chinese Communist Leader Chairman Mao’s quote that “Political Power grows out of the barrel of a gun”. Significantly, through this quote from Chairman Mao, the messages regarding power in both Animal Farm and Macbeth are explored - that political power is obtained and sustained through the use of violence.

It is the use of language techniques and themes used by both Shakespeare and Orwell highlight the use of violence in the corrupt governments of both Macbeth and the pigs to maintain control, and also to obtain and sustain power, predominantly in the form of political power.

The metaphor of the so-called “barrel of the gun” that Mao Tse Tung is referring to is the tool of violence that governments and leaders often use to gain and hold onto power in the past and present. It is to be noted that all three leaders Mao Tse Tung, Macbeth, and, Napoleon obtained their power from violence in differing scales Mao Tse Tung from politics and full scale war, Macbeth’s use of assassination, and Napoleon with battles and politics.

With Mao’s metaphor of violence being the “barrel of the gun”, in Macbeth, blood is a recurring motif throughout the text with sometimes...
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