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Why do people seek power - Essay Example

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The essay will attempt to address the primary question framed as follows: Why Do People Seek power? Power is a major and a recurring theme in a lot of various genres of literature this not only included the modern plays and novel but also the Greek tragedies and other works…
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Download file to see previous pages This paper illustrates different definition of power. Allman defines power and its interconnection with authority in the words, ‘when power rests on legitimacy and when it is exercised with the hierarchy of roles it is defined as authority. Leonard Krieger elaborates authority is simply constituted power that is any capacity to secure obedience or conformity that carries with it some title to do so’. Hence power and authorship is basically is the use of force to make things work according to ones desire. The paper describes the theme of power in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. Macbeth is a depiction of a man’s lust and greed to gain power. It projects the downfall of man and it reiterates the fact that man himself is his biggest enemy. It is a tragic tale of betrayals and deceptions of human beings and explores the extent to which an individual can go in order to gain monetary power and a throne. This play is a very good demonstration to explore the reasons and answers to the question that why do people seek power. In Macbeth Shakespeare exploits the theme of power in numerous ways. This includes the power of fate and the prophecy of the witches, the power of greed and ambition in Macbeth’s nature, power of Lady Macbeth over Macbeth and power an addiction. All these aspects of power and its consequences that are explored in this play illustrate the importance and destructive force of power that can lead to demolition. 2.1. Power of Fate and the Prophecy In the very beginning the witches say, ‘Fair is foul and foul is fair’ (13, 313) and also it is mentioned, ‘all hail Macbeth thou shalt be King thou be none’ (70, 321). This line holds a lot of importance because this is not only a prophecy but a foreshadowing of the events that are going to occur in the play as it proceeds. Moreover on psychological level since it is a normal human reaction that whenever one hears something inexplicable or unusual such a comment or prediction stores in his subconscious and unconsciously the person starts thinking about it and resultantly starts behaving in exactly the same manner as he was told. So a similar situation can be accounted for in Macbeth. So this depicts the power and impact of words on a human being as well as power of fate that rules human mind and actions. As Macbeth also says, ‘If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me’ (153, 324) 2.2. Power of Greed and Ambition The blinding force of greed and lust for power that is projected in the play is another common reason that people seek power. Consequently this also depicts the negativity that power curtails. As is also apparent from Macbeth’s actions as he plans Duncan’s murder in cold blood and the stirring of his intention of murdering him becomes clear in Act 1 where he states, ‘Besides this Duncan hath born his faculties so meek…angels, trumpet tongued against deep damnation of his taking off’ (17-21, 335). Hence this soliloquy where he reasons with himself to justify his forthcoming actions portrays the manner in which gradually he is being engulfed and blinded by the power of greed ad ambition. As mentioned in the text, ‘I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself, and falls on the other’ (26-29, 335). 2.3. Power of Lady Macbeth Another idea that Shakespeare explores and illustrates in his play is the power of the gender. Although Macbeth is driven by ambition and greed yet the final instigator that leads him to conspire in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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