Ithas dependably been in human nature that the more power one desiresthe more corrupt acts one must do to accomplish it. A powerful personis going to be in circumstances where they can acquire their desiresby just lying, bribing and sometimes even killing for more power. InShakespeare’s tragedy of Macbeth, a Scottish noble’s lust for powerdrives him to do loathsome deeds that prompt his downfall.Shakespeare demonstrates that power indeed does corrupt by usingMacbeth, who corrupts himself under the prospect of becoming the kingand having control over others based on the prophecy given to him bythe three witches.
He craves for power badly enough to do awfuldeeds, for example, commit regicide. Lady Macbeth turns out to beexceedingly driven and allows herself to wind up allured by the ideaof becoming a Queen. Lady Macbeth is the eve of the biblical story ofAdam and Eve who led astray by her lust for power urges Macbeth tocommit regicide by scrutinizing his adoration for her and his ownmanhood. These two characters are the ideal cases of how powercorrupts people automatically as Macbeth initially was first a noblehero who then falls into the temptation of absolute power by his wifethat then leads to absolute corruption automatically for the two. Macbethplayed a major role in the murder of Duncan yet Lady Macbeth was thedriving force in plotting his demise. The three witches are to beblamed equally as they were the catalysts in Macbeth’s murders wheneach one them said, Act 1 Scene 3 Lines 50-53 “All hail, Macbeth!Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thaneof Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!”.
This leads to a sparked ambition in Macbeth to suffocate himself withideas hoping to transform it into reality. Lady Macbeth who was thedriving force that pushed her weak husband into committing regicidewas already seduced by the idea of becoming a queen and corruptedbefore she even had authority. Around Act 1 Scene 7, Macbeth contendswith himself on whether he should kill King Duncan, “If it weredone when ’tis done, then ’twere well It were done quickly”where he implies that on the off chance the death of the king shouldbe possible without it returning “…To plague th’ inventor” asthis “even-handed justice commends the ingredients of our poisonedchalice to our own lips” at that point it ought to be done quickly.If his murder would have no negative consequences and be effectivelyfinished with his death (surcease), at that point Macbeth would risketernal damnation, however, he would gladly risk it for domination inthe present life. Macbeth is aware of the serious outcomes that comealong with the regicide of King Duncan.
He likewise couldn’t discovera reason adjacent to his own particular desire as King Duncan to himis “Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been so clear in hisgreat office, that his virtues will plead like angels,trumpet-tongued, against the deep damnation of his taking-off;” andfurthermore that he is his kinsman who ought to protect his king asopposed to killing him. Macbeth is hesitant about it and even argueswith Lady Macbeth to quit poisoning his mind when he says, “I daredo all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none”. Indeed,even with his internal desire to have power, he wasn’t entirelycorrupted before he gained his desired power. He was aware that hisking has no real reason to be killed and it would be a horrible deedwith its own consequences later.
This is where the ManipulativeLady Macbeth comes in to persuade her husband into regicide. Sheaffronts his manhood by saying, “What beast was ’t, then, thatmade you break this enterprise to me? When you durst do it, then youwere a man; And to be more than what you were, you would be so muchmore the man” and even questions his affection for her goingfurther into calling him a coward, “As thou art in desire? Wouldstthou have that which thou esteem’st the ornament of life, and livea coward in thine own esteem, letting “I dare not” wait upon “Iwould,” Like the poor cat i’ th’ adage?”. When these wordsoriginate from a loved one who is close they tend to wield greatpower influencing their significant other. Macbeth ends up fallingvulnerable to her sentiments and proposals and in the wake of beingentitled, “Thane of Cawdor” he starts to trust in the witches’words while being persuaded by his significant other that the crownof Scotland will fall upon him by natural means. This thought goesamiss when Duncan names Malcolm his heir. Macbeth at that point, asyet putting stock in the witches, goes ahead with his plan to killDuncan. Lady Macbeth is responsible for unleashing the dark side ofher husband and motivates him to wind up plainly an abhorrent andloathsome man for her own particular avarice of becoming the queen.
Macbeth’s aspiration is the main reason behind why he turned from anoble Thane to a brutal and ridiculous dictator. At first, in thewake of gaining the title of “Thane of Cawdor”, he stayedhumble and ethically upright. However, not long after his victoryover the crown, he knew about the Witches’ prediction and realizedthe undiscovered desire for power within himself. His desire nextdrove him to murder Banquo, a dependable, respectable, and moralcompanion.
Banquo was there when the witches made their predictionabout Macbeth being the King, and they additionally made theirprescience about Banquo’s sons being kings. The first witch said toBanquo in Act 1 Scene 3, “You are lesser than Macbeth but alsogreater!” Now that Macbeth is the king, Banquo is his subject so heis “lesser” than Macbeth yet not at all like Macbeth,regardless he holds his uprightness and respects all who know him.The second witch goes ahead to state “You are not as happy asMacbeth, yet much happier” followed by the third witch, “Yourdescendants will be kings, even though you will not be one. So allhail, Macbeth and Banquo!” and Banquo replies “What, can thedevil speak true?” he is quick to recognize their detestable plansand hesitates to trust the witches’ prophecy.
Macbethnow considers Banquo a threat in light of the fact that the witchessaid Banquo’s sons would be kings. This pesters Macbeth, who saysthat upon his head “they placed a fruitless crown” (act 3 scene1). Since Macbeth can’t kill Banquo and Fleance because they arecompanions, he hires murders and tells them, “Know/That it was he[Banquo], in the times past, which held you/So under fortune, whichyou thought had been/Our innocent self” and continued on how heshowed them proof in their past meeting of how they have been trickedand that the blame ought to go to Banquo. Killing his dependable andpure closest companion doesn’t trouble Macbeth by any means, afterall to him “to be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus” at theend of the day, there is no point of being the lord unless he’sprotected from enemies and potential foes regardless of whether theyare his companions He will do what it takes to maintain his power.He becomes a traitor to his friends, all for the crown. The murder ofBanquo proves how the need for power has corrupted Macbeth.
Asidefrom Macbeth, there are many different examples from our real worldof how power corrupts a person. The British historian Lord Acton oncestated, “Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corruptsabsolutely”. History gives innumerable examples in which powerspawns corruption. An example is Hugo Chavez who was electedpresident of Venezuela in December 1998 based on his promises to stopthe corruption in Venezuela yet soon undermined the election processand became a dictator who was a threat to democracy. According toGustavo Coronel, author of the article “The Corruption of Democracyin Venezuela” published in USA Today Magazine stated that HugoChavez made three strong promises, they were “convening aConstituent Assembly to write a new constitution and improve thestate, fighting poverty and social exclusion, and eliminatingcorruption”. However, after nine years “The Constituent Assemblyprimarily was a vehicle to destroy all existing politicalinstitutions and replace them with a bureaucracy beholden to hiswishes. Poverty and social exclusion remain as prominent as before”furthermore, corruption within the government was higher than it wasbefore Chavez. According to Meghan Appeal O’Meara in History Behindthe Headlines, “On July 25, 1999, Venezuelans elected aconstitutional assembly to draft the new law of the land” (1: 303)Chavez supplanted the existing Congress by creating a new NationalAssembly which he had control over.
He used this new NationalAssembly to revise the constitution so that he could sustain himselfin power for longer. He proposed that under the new constitution thepresident ought to be permitted to hold office for two consecutivesix-year terms rather than the single five-year term. Chavez, as asocialist, just took after the socialist handbook, which essentiallyconsists of eliminating economic freedom and then centralize all thepower and economy on the party so that they can rule the society withabsolute power. It was ironic how there was a noticeable rise incorruption under his rule since he originally came to power on ananti-corruption campaign platform. Powergives the individual who has it the ability to do whatever theydesire, say whatever they need and influence individuals to do whatthey want them to. Utilizing it in selfless manners is what tends tocorrupt the people who possess it. At first, they may have a goodintent, looking to create an organization and help other peoplesucceed et cetera.
With this sound reason, they pardon themselves forsmall indiscretions, as the minor means is plainly worth meeting thefar more prominent end. Most cult leaders begin by doing great andhelping other people. In any case, a little while later the powergets to their head as they are enticed by the powerful feeling itgives them.
Macbeth simply like Banquo was a noble hero committed toserving his king and protecting him until the point that he cameacross the three witches’ prophecies, he was easily tempted andconvinced by forces outside his own thinking and moral code. When heexperienced power, he needed more. Both he and Lady Macbeth weren’tentirely satisfied with it, after all, power is like an addictivedrug. The prospect of not having power is so unnerving, they areheaded to look for more power that they lose their values andhumanity to it. In conclusion, Power does corrupt and absolute powerwill corrupt the individual completely.