Analysis of a quote that relates to the text:
Power corrupts, and Absolute power corrupts absolutely
This quote means that the one who has complete authority is extremely likely to abuse his position. 'Absolute power' refers to complete, unchallengeable power where the holder has no external compulsions and is answerable to none about his actions. It builds on the idea that every human being has the potential to become a 'benevolent dictator' given the right situation. Power, or simply the desire for power, can cause people to act in unintelligible ways. Many examples can be seen throughout history of leaders who have been perverted with power. For example, leaders like Hitler and Napoleon have all committed disgraceful actions during their rule in the hopes of attaining the 'Absolute power'. All through the play Macbeth, the desire for 'Absolute power' is the central compelling force for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. They are dominated with a great yearning for gaining the ultimate power by becoming the King and Queen, and are willing to achieve it by whatever means necessary. Power corrupts their thoughts, behaviours and actions. They become greedy and selfish. As a result of this, they suffer the tragic fate of their own doings. Example of this corruption is first seen when Lady Macbeth decides that she will murder Duncan after reading her husband's letter about the witches prophecies. She refuses to see the difference between right and wrong as she is blinded by the desire to become the Queen. Also, we see in the soliloquy in scene 7 that Macbeth is logically able to decide that murdering Duncan is not a good idea but on a little persuasion from his wife, he agrees, because the desire for becoming the King is strong enough to win over logic.
My Position regarding the knowledge of a peripheral topic:
The knowledge of the peripheral topic Tragic Hero is necessary in order for ENG 3U students to truly appreciate the story of Macbeth.
Overview of the peripheral topic:
Tragedy traditionally depicts the downfall of a noble hero, usually through some kind of a tragic flaw. The tragic flaw, or error, is known as hamartia; the most notable form of hamartia is hubris or an excess of a particular emotion such as pride, hatred, ambition or jealousy. The hero is good, though not perfect, and his fall results from his committing an act of injustice either through ignorance or from a conviction that some greater good will be served. This act is never-the-less, a criminal one and the good hero is responsible for it even if he is totally unaware of its criminality and is acting out of the best of intentions. In other words, he must make an error in judgment that will make him fall from his grand stature. Then, as he slowly realizes what he has done, the world crumbles around him. The hero's downfall is partially his own fault as a result of his free choice, not of accident or fate. The hero need not die at the end, but he/she must undergo a change in fortune....