Comparing Power In Macbeth And Othello

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The Power of Power
Abraham Lincoln once stated, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Power can show a man’s true intentions and reveal someone's authentic character. In Shakespeare’s works, he uses common ideas of power and jealousy to develop the plot. In Macbeth a prophecy born out of witchcraft drives Macbeth to lust for the power of king. Hiding this evil causes macbeth to kill even more, ending the life of one of his closest friends. In Othello Iago, driven by his jealousy of Cassio’s power, uses manipulation to control each character’s actions. In both plays the theme of jealousy and manipulation for power drives the actions of the characters. Those who lust for power will do even the darkest things to gain it, for they care more about their own personal gain …show more content…

MacBeth presents a clear and evident example of this concept. In the play, Lady MacBeth’s desire for power blinds her, making her do horrible things. She manipulates her husband into murdering Duncan to gain more power. MacBeth himself is also blinded by his hunger for power that Lady MacBeth instilled in him. Power proves a similar effect on Iago in Othello. Although he puts on a friendly front, Iago ruthlessly manipulates all of the characters, including his wife Emelia. Iago was obsessed with the idea of power and jealous of Cassio’s power so he took drastic measures to acquire more. Because of his failure to see past his desire the majority of the characters faced a painful death. The desire for power can blind anyone. Power has this effect on humans because the majority of people are selfish to an extent. Due to human’s survival of the fittest nature, humans naturally want to help themselves. Because of this, one carelessly endangers the lives of others in order to better themselves by getting power. People who want power are blinded by their

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