Within William Shakespeare’s play, ‘Macbeth’, the destructive nature of power is immensely explored. The nature of power is obliquely and inevitably expressed through Macbeth’s ambitious drive for supremacy, the unknown and distraught notion of fate and free will, as well as a personal reaction towards the concept of power. Although, the majority of the play is based on the destructive nature of power, the moral nature of power is also portrayed, in spite of the evil. Macbeth was naturally an ambitious man, who constantly desired more.
However, he was greatly influenced by his wife Lady Macbeth, for in the beginning Macbeth’s nature was “too full o[f] the milk of human kindness”. Lady Macbeth’s provocation encouraged the evil residing in Macbeth and his ambition only increased “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself and falls on the other. ” The weird sisters were aware of his overpowering determination and were able to manipulate him into believing he had the potential to gain “absolute power”.
Via these strong influences and his unfathomable ambition, Macbeth went to great extents to retrieve ultimate power, essentially transforming into a tyrant within the process. Macbeth’s level of free will is questionable, for it seems that despite the triggers of his ferocious actions, he was an exceptionally hubris man. The witches can be depicted as advocators for fate, rather than fate itself and with the support of manipulation, they were able to convert Macbeth into an ignorant autocrat. “Fair is foul and foul is Fair. Weird sister’s prophecies were not what they seemed. Although, Macbeth received various triggers that led to his destiny, it is likely that he would have received the same fate, had the witches not interfered. “I'll make assurance double sure, And take a bond of fate. ” Macbeth attempts to control fate by murdering his possible threats to power. Macbeth was ambitious at heart and clearly a power driven man, whom takes pride in his masculinity and in essence already on the pathway to destruction.
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Macbeth was too focused on gaining his own power and control, to comprehend the issues arising against him. As Macbeth aspired to optimum power, he gradually began to dehumanise. “What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? ” Lady Macbeth questions whether the guilt and anxiety of murdering these loyal people was worth the power or lack of it. The weird sisters manipulated Macbeth into believing he was invincible, resulting in irrational acts of terrorism against the people of Scotland.
Murder, betrayal, torture and cruelty were inflicted upon all of Macbeth’s followers on a regular basis, whom were forced to obey him. “I am in blood, stepped in so far, that, should I wade no more” Macbeth went too far, to withdraw and developed into a tyrannical leader for the simple reason he had the power to do so. What he chose to do with his power lead to his corruption, although, not all choose the wrong path. There are some individuals born to lead and gain power, with the intention of goodness and then there are others who do not retain the ability to effectively control their power.
Duncan and Malcolm both emanate morality, with the aspiration to improve and support their country, Scotland. “But I must also feel it as a man,” Malcolm exclaims as he understands he must feel compassion In order to become a respectable leader. The destructive nature of power is explored in many aspects throughout the play, for each individual reacts differently. Macbeth was ambitious at heart and easily influenced to commit such brutality against his own people.
However, Malcolm and Duncan were able to harness and control their power with intention of supporting their country to the best of their abilities. Macbeth’s fate seemed inevitable despite the weird sister’s interference, for he already retained the qualities of an ambitious tyrant. Macbeth ultimately desired power with fierce determination and eventually received it. Once he had acquired all power, he became ignorant and apparently ‘invincible’ ultimately resulting in his destruction.
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