Macbeth: Corruption of Power

Macbeth: Corruption of Power

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“In the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding on the back of the tiger ended up inside.”
- John F. Kennedy


When individuals come into a position of power, where the definition of control becomes a new one according to their own point of view, they usually open a feeling in their minds that what ever decision they make that directly conflicts the lives of other people, that they shouldn’t feel responsible at all. That’s when power corrupts the minds of these people.
Corruption is something that is motivated by greed and fraud. It’s a very threatening personality that controls and destroys people’s lives and makes them the kind of person other people don’t want to associate with.

When a person is in power, situations arouse where they can acquire anything by lying, bribing, conning, or stealing. With these in mind anybody in power could easily become a powerful foe.

The reason why corruption has become a global problem is because it’s rational to be greedy or wanting for more but soon after it gets out of control and then there is a corrupted person who in order to change would have to step down from power and become a person who doesn’t control.
Nothing can really be done to prolong it or avoid it, if you take a corrupt person in power and replace with a fair and just person, sooner or

later they also will become swallowed in corruption.

In the Shakespearean tragedy, "Macbeth", there are many examples of corruption. When Macbeth became Thane of Cordor, his wife, Lady Macbeth, was very delighted to hear of such news. And upon hearing that Macbeth had been visited by witches who saw Macbeth as king, she used every last resort to thrust her husband into power, by use of murder (of the king), blackmail and fraud. This is a perfect example of corruption, because as soon as she felt the tingle of power, she was lusting for more.


As the play carries on the corruption becomes greater with the murder of Banquo. Banquo who was a companion of Macbeth, is betrayed when Macbeth, the new king, orders for Banquo to be killed for the sole reason that Banquo had a son named Fleance, who Macbeth believed would take the throne away from him,
“To make them kings, the seeds of Banquo kings!" This of course arouses suspicions in the realm, but it spirals out of hand as Macbeth had gone crazy from the guilt of murder as had Lady Macbeth.

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Save those in powers, sometimes think nothing will happen or will rebound back on them, that they are safe in the confinement of their own command. Though regard the age old saying, “What goes around, comes around”, which is what exactly happened to Macbeth.
All Macbeth’s killing could’ve been prevented if Lady Macbeth hadn’t pushed him so hard into killing the king in the first place, as for her, being Thane of Cordor just wasn’t sufficient enough. She had to be the most powerful person in Scotland under the king. She was greedy for more.

Although vicious and awful, there are many cases in today’s society where corruption has control over those in high ranks of world leadership. Many such as Mohamed Suharto - President of Indonesia (1967–1998), Joseph Estrada - President of the Philippines (1998–2001) but none so prominently closer to the story of Macbeth itself than Adolf Hitler – German Dictator (1933-1945)


Adolf Hitler, German dictator and revolutionary was born on April 20, 1889 in Braunau Austria, just outside the German border. Adolf poorly in school. His father died in 1903, and Adolf left school in 1905 at the age of 16.

Later, when WWI began, he volunteered for service in the Germany army. He served as a messenger on the Western front, taking part in some of the bloodiest battles. He was wounded and twice and was in a military hospital when Germany surrendered in 1918. He then joined a small nationalistic group called the German Workers Party. He changed the name of the party to the National Socialist German Workers Party, but they became known as the Nazi Party. He then became leader of the Nazis. While in command, he had several exterminations and assassinations of other parties leading for Germany

Hitler and the Nazis rapidly began to gain power by 1929 and by then, Hitler gathered some very powerful and feared people to rally him to power. On January 30, 1933, Hitler became chancellor of Germany. By that summer, he had made himself dictator, by storming many of those who opposed him.

Hitler’s life is very much close to that of Macbeths’. They came about their own power through murder and blackmail, but one cannot walk that trail and not get make enemies or feel a surge of guilt or redemption. As also it is always the good, in opposition to the current rule of corruption, who bring about the end of the government rule. In the play, Macbeth is killed by Macduff, a raged companion in who Macbeth killed his family and order is restored with the rightful heir on the throne, Hitler had pushed too hard too quick and done himself in with certain defeat and committed suicide. All was restored and worked out for the better.

So it can be seen that those who experience a trace of power are almost always certain to yearn for more and use every option and plan around them to levy themselves up into a high position. Is it just the foolish who go looking for a deadly snare and trap themselves before thinking five minutes in front of their face. Either way it is almost certain that those who ride on the back of the tiger
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