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The Seduction of Power in Macbeth

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The “seduction” of power can change an individual drastically. An individual in a position of power often believes that they are better than the others around them. The entitlement an individual feels after obtaining power can be costly. William Shakespeare portrays the “seduction” of power in Macbeth, through Macbeth’s ambition to attain more power. Macbeth acts as his own adversary shown through his paranoia and insecurity that ultimately, led him to be a corrupted individual because of his greediness to obtain more power.

Macbeth’s source of insecurity was from his wife Lady Macbeth doubting his manhood. As shown when she used her seducing ways to get Macbeth to kill Duncan, “When you durst do it, then you were a man; / And be so much more than the man” (1.7.56-58). Macbeth became his own adversary when he tried to prove he was a “man” to his wife and killed Duncan. As a result of his insecurity of his lack of manliness, Macbeth’s soul couldn’t be cleansed again. Macbeth proved to his wife that he was a “man” but the consequence of murdering the king was the beginning of the corruption of Macbeth’s soul because of the sense of power he had. Macbeth saw his actions as justifiable because he was motivated by his self-interest. Although Lady Macbeth pushed Macbeth to abuse his powers, it was ultimately his own doing because he had a choice to go or not go along with it. Macbeth decided to go through with his plan to kill Duncan, “I am settled, and bend up/Each corporal agent to this terrible feat/Away, and mock the time with fairest show/False face must hide what the false heart doth know” (1.7.92-96). Macbeth knew that it wasn’t right to kill his king; however, Macbeth’s ambition takes over the conscience in his mind. Macbe...

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...re power. Macbeth’s fall was his own fault because his lust for more power wasn’t going to stop and he was willing to kill anyone blocking or threatening his path. A position of power causes an individual to feel a sense of invisibility therefore; they think that they are above everyone else. A feeling of supremacy can act as a trigger that causes an individual to be corrupt and cause them to do things that go against their morals.

Works Cited

Asp, Carolyn. "`Be Bloody, bold and resolute': Tragic Action and Sexual Stereotyping in Macbeth." EXPLORING Shakespeare. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Gale Student Resources In Context. Web. 16 Nov. 2011.

Knight, L.C. William Shakespeare. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1985. Print.

Shakespeare, William, Barbara A. Mowat, and Paul Werstine. The Tragedy of Macbeth.

New York: Washington Square, 1992. Print.
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