Power in Macbeth

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Power in Macbeth

The play Macbeth by William Shakespeare is still a well known a widely studied text, despite having been written many centuries ago. Arguably one of the most pivotal themes of the play is that of power, which is looked at in many different ways and lights in the text. Ultimately, Shakespeare does not seem to support the commonly held view that power corrupts. Rather, he suggests that the desire to attain power is a trait of most people, to some degree or another, and that when an individual has that desire particularly strongly, or when their desire is increased by them sensing an opportunity, they will be willing to compromise their morals in order to pursue their goals. He also suggests through his characters’ actions
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This shows her completely giving in to her desire for power, sacrificing her morality in order to make sure her ambition is not stymied by her own conscience.

The way Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband demonstrates the power she has over him already, which she has as a result of knowing how to change his mind. She uses emotional blackmail, saying how she would have killed her own baby if she had sworn to do so as he had sworn to kill the king, and hinting at the idea that she had a child but it died, making Macbeth feel guilty and sympathetic towards her. In addition to this she ridicules his masculinity, or lack thereof, and states that he is cowardly to try back out of their plan after introducing the idea so recently, which had appeared to be a sign of courage. This is an example of a high stakes power play between what should be a loving and supporting couple, but what is instead a pair of ambitious individuals using and manipulating each other. This suggests that their desire for power has outweighed their love, though it is shown that this was not always so, and it is the additional manipulation of Macbeth by the witches that has made it the case.

The dynamic of the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth changes yet again after the assassination of Duncan. After Lady Macbeth convinces her

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