The Power Is A Ruler Of Absolute Power Essay

The Power Is A Ruler Of Absolute Power Essay

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In the early modern period, the political system put in Europe was “absolute power” (Lecturer Morris). According to the OED, “absolute power is a monarch invested in absolute”. In this period, it was believed that it was necessary that only one person designated by God could hold absolute power. Usually this prophecy would be passed down in the royal family, from father to son (Carrol 246). Occasionally, if viewed as worthy of the opportunity, a person, usually a warrior who has served well in war, could rise to the occasion, and can be named king (Lecturer Morris). “The sons do not succeed the fathers, before the people first have as it were anew established them by their new approbation: neither were they acknowledged in quality, as inheriting it from the dead.”(Carroll 246). It wasn’t an easy task to a king. The king had to be able to gain his nation’s trust, and demonstrate confidence and leadership. Therefore, he often had to reassure his nation by only showing them his strength and his confidence and was not allowed to show any signs of weakness: “It is certain, then, that the people by way of stipulation require a performance of covenants. The king promises it.”(Carrol 247). In William Shakespeare’s plays Macbeth and Titus Andronicus, the author exploits the idea of maintenance of power through the main characters. In Macbeth, absolute power must be earned by proving that on must be worthy of obtaining and is able to maintain his power. Nonetheless, in Titus Andronicus, only deception through performance serves as key to sustain power.
On the one hand, in Macbeth, Shakespeare’s explains that the key to keeping a throne is to obtain all the qualities necessary to be in power: strength, courage, and not showing any signs o...


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...n the one hand, in Macbeth, Shakespeare shows that all these qualities need to be reflected on the one holding absolute power. A king must have strength, courage, and must be able to hide his weaknesses. On the other hand, in Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare’s explains that absolute power can only be obtained by trickeries. It matters not if the person who desires power is noble or weak because weakness can become strength when one knows how to deceive others to their own advantage. In the early modern period, individuals who were in power were seen with qualities that were necessary to become king in Macbeth. However, through the analysis of Titus Andronicus, it seems that these traits also be falsely portrayed through performance. The comparison of these plays reveals the true colors of power and allows its readers to question the politics in play in today’s society.

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