Corruption Of Power In Shakespeare's Macbeth

2370 words - 9 pages

Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragic plays. It is considered a tragedy because the main character has a tragic flaw, and this is the cause of his downfall. One major reason for his downfall is how corrupted he becomes due to the power he has. Shakespeare utilizes the aspect of corruption of power in Macbeth.
William Shakespeare was born April 23, 1564. Ironically, it is on the same date, just 52 years later that he dies. William had 6 other siblings, of which he was the third oldest. Their names were Joan, Margaret, Gilbert, Joan, Anne, Richard, and Edmund. The first Joan, Margaret, and Anne all died when they were very young. The Shakespeares lived in Stratford, England for the first 20 years of his life, where his father was a key part in the community. William Shakespeare’s father, John Shakespeare, was a member of the yeoman class. His mother Mary Arden was of the gentry, a higher social class. At this time it was normal for a woman to marry beneath her social ranking, and for a man to marry someone higher than him (Boyce, “Shakespeare…”).
William most likely attended the Stratford Grammar School, however there are no records of his time their. This was a very good school and because his father was an official of Stratford, it was free for all of the Shakespeare children. While in school, Shakespeare mostly studied Latin, and Latin authors. Ovid, Livy, and Virgil can all be traced from some of his works. One of the textbooks used in his day is seen in a couple of his plays, one of which is The Merry Wives of Windsor. After leaving school at age 15, Shakespeare went off to find a job to help pay off his family’s financial issues. There were many jobs in which he could have been employed, shown in his vast background of jobs in his plays (Boyce, “Shakespeare…”).
Around 1582 Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway. She was eight years older than him at the time, and he was only 18 when they got married. Together they had three children, Susanna, Hamnet, and Judith Shakespeare. One of the reasons he married her so young and quickly was because they had an affair, and she got pregnant (Boyce, “Shakespeare…”).
Shakespeare’s life during the “Dark Years” is a mystery. There are claims he was a butcher, soldier and in the publishing industry. There is also a theory that he was a secret Catholic, and at one point was in training to become a priest. He would not have been able to proclaim his religious views because England was Protestant. Many Catholics were put through very harsh punishments, and sometimes lead to death. Stratford was considered to be the center of secret Catholicism (Boyce, “Shakespeare…”).
By 1589 Shakespeare was in London, and by 1592 a well-known playwright. Many people respected and looked up to him. In his early years, he worked with people on plays, not alone as many today think. The plays such as Titus, Edward III, and Henry VI were all worked on in groups with other authors. Not only did Shakespeare collaborate...

Find Another Essay On Corruption of Power in Shakespeare's Macbeth

Macbeth's Lust for Power in Shakespeare's Macbeth

746 words - 3 pages man.” This statement shows that Macbeth believes killing Duncan will make him nothing more than a beast. Lady Macbeth then undermines Macbeth by saying to him “Screw your courage to the sticking place”, it simply means that Macbeth should be as courageous as he could possibly be. Nevertheless Macbeth makes up his mind to go through with the terrible deed of killing his King and loyal friend Duncan. In the soliloquy in act 2 scene 1, Macbeth

The Witches in Macbeth: Corruption and Fate vs. Free will in William Shakespeare's "Macbeth"

867 words - 3 pages when suppressed with guilt. Further influencing more deaths is the power of guilt and corruption that plagues both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. In William Shakespeare's Macbeth, witches symbolize characters' imaginary tools to represent the power of corruption, and the inner demonic conscience of man.In "Macbeth", the characters struggle with the prophecies and free will vs. fate. Shakespeare makes the true nature of these prophecies unknown to the

William Shakespeare's Repeated Reference to Blood to Establish the Theme of Power of Evil in Macbeth

3536 words - 14 pages William Shakespeare's Repeated Reference to Blood to Establish the Theme of Power of Evil in Macbeth "Enter Macbeth, with two bloody daggers" For me, this stage direction from William Shakespeare's Macbeth was very effective as it portrayed the power of evil to destroy. Throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare used many references to blood to capture the attention of the audience. The repeated reference to blood was very

Unchecked Power in Shakespeare's Macbeth and King Lear

1470 words - 6 pages between the tragic heroes in Macbeth and King Lear. However, the differences between the two outline the re-occurring themes in both plays. In Shakespeare's plays the central characters' own weaknesses and lust for power lead to corruption. The unchecked power in Shakespeare's Macbeth and King Lear ultimately leads to corruption, tragedy, and the hero's fall from grace.In Macbeth, Macbeth's power goes unchecked within himself, his wife, and within

Macbeth's Weak Mindset, Lust for Power, and Quest for Blood in Shakespeare's Macbeth

1547 words - 6 pages In the story of Macbeth the character Macbeth is portrayed as an honest and trustworthy man. In the beginning of the story Macbeth meets three witches that tell him that he will be the Thane of Cowdar and eventually become King. Essentially Macbeth does not believe this and ignores it. Macbeth tells his wife about the series of events with the witches and his wife begins Macbeth’s quest for all power. In the story Lady Macbeth is the force that

Corruption in Macbeth

729 words - 3 pages Corruption in Macbeth   Power has the ability to destroy one's nature.  Thus, making one capable to do many things he would not normally do, unless power has been an influence.  Once Macbeth realizes that he has power, he becomes a person of corruption.  This power he attains allows him to commit many sins in order to become King of Scotland.   In Macbeth, a play by William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Downfall of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

1683 words - 7 pages Downfall of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth This play is a tragedy. In this essay I will discuss what effect the witches, lady Macbeth and Macbeth have on the rise and fall of Macbeth. Macbeth at the beginning of the play is successful warrior in the Scottish army. The king of Scotland, Duncan, hears of Macbeth's bravery and he calls him a 'Valiant cousin! Worthy gentleman!' (Act 1 scene 2, line 24). This

Change of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth

2593 words - 10 pages Change of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Throughout the course of the play, Macbeths character changes from good to evil. As the audience we are given plenty of opportunities to look at the way in which he changes and the influences that help bring about the alteration in character. Shakespeare also uses dramatic devises to highlight Macbeths change. In this essay I am going to explore

The character of Macbeth in Shakespeare's "Macbeth"

1131 words - 5 pages The Macbeth character in Macbeth by William Shakespeare can be played many ways. Macbeth's relationship with other characters in the play and Aristotle's theory of a tragedy are ways in which Macbeth is shown as a tragic hero.At the very beginning of the play, Macbeth and Banquo are returning to Scotland from a fierce battle between the Norwegians and the Scottish. They have just won the war for Duncan. This shows a noble virtue of Macbeth, a

Character Analylis of Macbeth in Shakespeare's Macbeth

1044 words - 4 pages Cawdor.' Lady Macbeth convinced her husband to murder Duncan by putting his manhood and courage at stake (I,7, 'When you durst do it, then you were a man;/ And to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man'). As Macbeth started degrading he lost some bravery (IV, 1, 'That I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies'). In his fight with Macduff, some of his old courage and strength returned.Macbeth could be brave when it came to

Theme of Power Corruption in Animal Farm, by George Orwell

1775 words - 7 pages Macbeth. As a result of their greed, selfishness and longing for supremacy, they were unable to escape the tragic fate at the end of the play that was a result of their own doing. Power can change people into the thing or character that said they never would be. Absolute power changes people and creates something new and often times a monster. As Paul Krishner wrote in The Dual Purpose Of Animal Farm “…the commandments are chipped away and the

Similar Essays

Corruption Of Unchecked Ambition In Shakespeare's Macbeth

1284 words - 5 pages The Corrupting Power of Unchecked Ambition The main theme of Macbeth-the destruction wrought when ambition goes unchecked by moral constraints-finds its most powerful expression in the play's two main characters. Macbeth is a courageous Scottish general who is not naturally inclined to commit evil deeds, yet he deeply desires power and advancement. He kills Duncan against his better judgment and afterward stews in guilt and paranoia. Toward

Symbolism That Represents The Theme Of Corruption In Shakespeare's Mac Beth

1034 words - 4 pages Symbolism in MacBeth Symbolism plays an important role to emphasize the theme of corruption of power in William Shakespeare's Macbeth. Throughout the play there are several main symbols repeatedly used to emphasize this theme. The contrast of light and dark representing good and evil, blood representing guilt, murder, and pain, and the archetypal pattern of purification by using water represents removal of guilt, cleansing and peace. Symbolism

Powmac Power And Corruption In Macbeth

2098 words - 8 pages Power and Corruption in Macbeth       "Authority poisons everybody who takes authority upon himself" (Vladimir Ilyich Lenin). This could easily be a comment on the story of Macbeth where an apparently respected Scottish couple have the opportunity to seize the highest authority, take it, and in doing so, poison themselves and their country. In Macbeth, the play's theme is the strife created by the wrongful seizure of power and the

The Power Of The Witches In Shakespeare's Macbeth

1504 words - 6 pages The Power of the Witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth   The tragedy of Macbeth comes about because of a single event in his life. If that one moment, the meeting with the witches on the heath, had not happened then Macbeth would no doubt have gone on to be a loyal and respected subject of King Duncan and, later, King Malcolm. However, the meeting did happen and the powerful force of ambition was unleashed within Macbeth and Lady Macbeth