It
has dependably been in human nature that the more power one desires
the more corrupt acts one must do to accomplish it. A powerful person
is going to be in circumstances where they can acquire their desires
by just lying, bribing and sometimes even killing for more power. In
Shakespeare’s tragedy of Macbeth, a Scottish noble’s lust for power
drives him to do loathsome deeds that prompt his downfall.
Shakespeare demonstrates that power indeed does corrupt by using
Macbeth, who corrupts himself under the prospect of becoming the king
and having control over others based on the prophecy given to him by
the three witches. He craves for power badly enough to do awful
deeds, for example, commit regicide. Lady Macbeth turns out to be
exceedingly driven and allows herself to wind up allured by the idea
of becoming a Queen. Lady Macbeth is the eve of the biblical story of
Adam and Eve who led astray by her lust for power urges Macbeth to
commit regicide by scrutinizing his adoration for her and his own
manhood. These two characters are the ideal cases of how power
corrupts people automatically as Macbeth initially was first a noble
hero who then falls into the temptation of absolute power by his wife
that then leads to absolute corruption automatically for the two.

Macbeth
played a major role in the murder of Duncan yet Lady Macbeth was the
driving force in plotting his demise. The three witches are to be
blamed equally as they were the catalysts in Macbeth’s murders when
each one them said, Act 1 Scene 3 Lines 50-53 “All hail, Macbeth!
Hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, Thane
of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!”.
This leads to a sparked ambition in Macbeth to suffocate himself with
ideas hoping to transform it into reality. Lady Macbeth who was the
driving force that pushed her weak husband into committing regicide
was already seduced by the idea of becoming a queen and corrupted
before she even had authority. Around Act 1 Scene 7, Macbeth contends
with himself on whether he should kill King Duncan, “If it were
done when ’tis done, then ’twere well It were done quickly”
where he implies that on the off chance the death of the king should
be possible without it returning “…To plague th’ inventor” as
this “even-handed justice commends the ingredients of our poisoned
chalice to our own lips” at that point it ought to be done quickly.
If his murder would have no negative consequences and be effectively
finished with his death (surcease), at that point Macbeth would risk
eternal damnation, however, he would gladly risk it for domination in
the present life. Macbeth is aware of the serious outcomes that come
along with the regicide of King Duncan. He likewise couldn’t discover
a reason adjacent to his own particular desire as King Duncan to him
is “Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been so clear in his
great office, that his virtues will plead like angels,
trumpet-tongued, against the deep damnation of his taking-off;” and
furthermore that he is his kinsman who ought to protect his king as
opposed to killing him. Macbeth is hesitant about it and even argues
with Lady Macbeth to quit poisoning his mind when he says, “I dare
do all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none”. Indeed,
even with his internal desire to have power, he wasn’t entirely
corrupted before he gained his desired power. He was aware that his
king has no real reason to be killed and it would be a horrible deed
with its own consequences later. This is where the Manipulative
Lady Macbeth comes in to persuade her husband into regicide. She
affronts his manhood by saying, “What beast was ’t, then, that
made you break this enterprise to me? 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” and even questions his affection for her going
further into calling him a coward, “As thou art in desire? Wouldst
thou have that which thou esteem’st the ornament of life, and live
a coward in thine own esteem, letting “I dare not” wait upon “I
would,” Like the poor cat i’ th’ adage?”. When these words
originate from a loved one who is close they tend to wield great
power influencing their significant other. Macbeth ends up falling
vulnerable to her sentiments and proposals and in the wake of being
entitled, “Thane of Cawdor” he starts to trust in the witches’
words while being persuaded by his significant other that the crown
of Scotland will fall upon him by natural means. This thought goes
amiss when Duncan names Malcolm his heir. Macbeth at that point, as
yet putting stock in the witches, goes ahead with his plan to kill
Duncan. Lady Macbeth is responsible for unleashing the dark side of
her husband and motivates him to wind up plainly an abhorrent and
loathsome man for her own particular avarice of becoming the queen.

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Macbeth’s aspiration is the main reason behind why he turned from a
noble Thane to a brutal and ridiculous dictator. At first, in the
wake of gaining the title of “Thane of Cawdor”, he stayed
humble and ethically upright. However, not long after his victory
over the crown, he knew about the Witches’ prediction and realized
the undiscovered desire for power within himself. His desire next
drove him to murder Banquo, a dependable, respectable, and moral
companion. Banquo was there when the witches made their prediction
about Macbeth being the King, and they additionally made their
prescience about Banquo’s sons being kings. The first witch said to
Banquo in Act 1 Scene 3, “You are lesser than Macbeth but also
greater!” Now that Macbeth is the king, Banquo is his subject so he
is “lesser” than Macbeth yet not at all like Macbeth,
regardless he holds his uprightness and respects all who know him.
The second witch goes ahead to state “You are not as happy as
Macbeth, yet much happier” followed by the third witch, “Your
descendants will be kings, even though you will not be one. So all
hail, Macbeth and Banquo!” and Banquo replies “What, can the
devil speak true?” he is quick to recognize their detestable plans
and hesitates to trust the witches’ prophecy.

Macbeth
now considers Banquo a threat in light of the fact that the witches
said Banquo’s sons would be kings. This pesters Macbeth, who says
that upon his head “they placed a fruitless crown” (act 3 scene
1). Since Macbeth can’t kill Banquo and Fleance because they are
companions, he hires murders and tells them, “Know/That it was he
[Banquo], in the times past, which held you/So under fortune, which
you thought had been/Our innocent self” and continued on how he
showed them proof in their past meeting of how they have been tricked
and that the blame ought to go to Banquo. Killing his dependable and
pure closest companion doesn’t trouble Macbeth by any means, after
all to him “to be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus” at the
end of the day, there is no point of being the lord unless he’s
protected from enemies and potential foes regardless of whether they
are his companions He will do what it takes to maintain his power.
He becomes a traitor to his friends, all for the crown. The murder of
Banquo proves how the need for power has corrupted Macbeth.

Aside
from Macbeth, there are many different examples from our real world
of how power corrupts a person. The British historian Lord Acton once
stated, “Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts
absolutely”. History gives innumerable examples in which power
spawns corruption. An example is Hugo Chavez who was elected
president of Venezuela in December 1998 based on his promises to stop
the corruption in Venezuela yet soon undermined the election process
and became a dictator who was a threat to democracy. According to
Gustavo Coronel, author of the article “The Corruption of Democracy
in Venezuela” published in USA Today Magazine stated that Hugo
Chavez made three strong promises, they were “convening a
Constituent Assembly to write a new constitution and improve the
state, fighting poverty and social exclusion, and eliminating
corruption”. However, after nine years “The Constituent Assembly
primarily was a vehicle to destroy all existing political
institutions and replace them with a bureaucracy beholden to his
wishes. Poverty and social exclusion remain as prominent as before”
furthermore, corruption within the government was higher than it was
before Chavez. According to Meghan Appeal O’Meara in History Behind
the Headlines, “On July 25, 1999, Venezuelans elected a
constitutional assembly to draft the new law of the land” (1: 303)
Chavez supplanted the existing Congress by creating a new National
Assembly which he had control over. He used this new National
Assembly to revise the constitution so that he could sustain himself
in power for longer. He proposed that under the new constitution the
president ought to be permitted to hold office for two consecutive
six-year terms rather than the single five-year term. Chavez, as a
socialist, just took after the socialist handbook, which essentially
consists of eliminating economic freedom and then centralize all the
power and economy on the party so that they can rule the society with
absolute power. It was ironic how there was a noticeable rise in
corruption under his rule since he originally came to power on an
anti-corruption campaign platform.

Power
gives the individual who has it the ability to do whatever they
desire, say whatever they need and influence individuals to do what
they want them to. Utilizing it in selfless manners is what tends to
corrupt the people who possess it. At first, they may have a good
intent, looking to create an organization and help other people
succeed et cetera. With this sound reason, they pardon themselves for
small indiscretions, as the minor means is plainly worth meeting the
far more prominent end. Most cult leaders begin by doing great and
helping other people. In any case, a little while later the power
gets to their head as they are enticed by the powerful feeling it
gives them. Macbeth simply like Banquo was a noble hero committed to
serving his king and protecting him until the point that he came
across the three witches’ prophecies, he was easily tempted and
convinced by forces outside his own thinking and moral code. When he
experienced power, he needed more. Both he and Lady Macbeth weren’t
entirely satisfied with it, after all, power is like an addictive
drug. The prospect of not having power is so unnerving, they are
headed to look for more power that they lose their values and
humanity to it. In conclusion, Power does corrupt and absolute power
will corrupt the individual completely. 

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