December 30, 2013
How Power Leads to Corruption
"Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it" [Lord Acton, British Historian]. It is human nature that the more power one desires the more corrupt actions they have to commit to attain power. Power is the ability to have control over people and/or things. People who are powerful can and in most cases will create an illusion of anything they want you to see about them. This illusion can make people blind to their true intentions. For instance police officers are looked at as good, we looked to them for our safety because they are here to "protect" us. Yet there are many reports of police brutality on innocent citizens. Even if a crime were to be committed there is no need for police to use violence of any sort unless action was taken on them. If no attempt of action was taken on an officer then the officer is abusing its power. Leading people to believe that police officers are corrupt meaning dishonorable, immoral, or not pure. In which case this idea of power leading to corruption is not only true but happens to those least expected to. In William Shakespeares' tragedy, Macbeth, the character Macbeth gains power by killing people and lying, he kills king Duncan out of greed, he kills his "best friends" Banquo out of fear, and then fails to realize that he is not invincible.
Power leading to corruption is more of a fact than an idea, in most cases when all is said and done the one with the power isn't who they said they'd be. Macbeth was once a Scottish nobleman whose greed for power became to overwhelming leading to his own demise. Shakespeare begins Macbeth, with the appearances of three witches. Each witch exclaims that Macbeth will be the thane of Glamis, the thane of Cawdor and afterwards he'll become the king. With this newly found information Macbeth unconsciously decides he will be the most powerful in Scotland. In comes two of the Kings good men Ross and Angus, both in which come to congratulate Macbeth on defeating Macdonwald, one of Norways' men. After all the congratulating Ross surprises Macbeth by saying, "And, for the earnest of a greater honor, he bade me, from him, call thee thane of Cawdor: In which addition, hail, most worthy thane, For it is thine" [Shakespeare,18]. Alarmed, Macbeth states that the thane of Cawdor is still alive but is assured by Angus that he won't be for long because he committed treason and was sentenced to death. Now Macbeth is beginning to realize two of the three things the witches have said have been true, what about the last, will he really become king. Macbeth decides he's going to kill the king, yet he is fearful. He feels he is betraying the king for the king honors Macbeth. The guilt Macbeth feels of his contemplations are soon ignored because his wife provokes him telling him it is what he needs to do, and if he doesn't he is weak. After being pestered Macbeth goes off talking to himself,...