Exploration Of Power In Macbeth

1856 Words8 Pages
An Exploration of Power in Shakespeare’s Works
Power, as countless quotes and political figures have taught us, is either the tool of a justified disciplinarian or, more often, the weapon of choice for the malicious despot. As such, every generation of writers has embraced its complexities in the hopes of shedding new light on this ancient yet ever-evolving concept. These writers, Shakespeare included, help to both define the role of power in the past and outline an ideal for it in the future. In The Tragedy of Macbeth, Macbeth is consumed by a need to be king as his humanity slowly peels away, revealing a grim picture in which primal urges rule. Similarly, throughout The Tragedy of King Lear, Lear finds himself slowly go mad with the knowledge
…show more content…
I.iv.55-58). This inadvertent dehumanization of others is just the first step in his wicked journey on which he finds himself murdering those he once looked up to for their title. The closer Macbeth gets to his goal, the more corrupted he becomes, and, even in power, he finds himself tormented by the thought of losing it. This intense ambition, coupled with Macbeth’s relatively normal disposition at the beginning of the play, works to characterize power as inherently corruptible and, ultimately, to be kept under close surveillance. Similarly, King Lear finds himself perverted by the power he once held- so much so that he cannot even recognize himself without it, exclaiming, “does any here know me? Why, this is not Lear. / Doth Lear walk thus? Speak thus? Where are his eyes?” (Lr. I.iv.213-214). After giving his crown to his kids, King Lear begins to lose sight of what he believes in, as so much of his life has been built around the concept of his wealth and prestige. In fact, the simple yet cruel act of his daughter taking away fifty of his soldiers sends him into a crisis, as he can no longer fathom his

More about Exploration Of Power In Macbeth

Open Document