The Role of Power in the Corruption of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth
In William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, characters can be seen being easily corrupted
by power. Throughout the play, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both make questionable decisions when the opportunity to seize power presents itself. Lady Macbeth convinces Macbeth to murder King Duncan to secure the throne and Macbeth orders his best friend to be murdered in order to remain king. Power has the ability to easily corrupt and take over even the strongest of people.
When Lady Macbeth gets word from Macbeth that his prophecy is to be king, she immediately wants Macbeth to pounce on his first opportunity to become king. Though she worries that he does not have what it takes to seize that opportunity. Lady Macbeth quickly convinces herself that she must, “pour my [Lady Macbeth] spirits in thine ear and chastise with the valor of my tongue all that impedes thee from the golden round, which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem to have thee crowned withal” (I. v. 28-33). At the first chance of power, Lady Macbeth is already corrupted. She is excited by this new opportunity and already thinking of ways to secure it. Her methods to secure the crown take a dark turn when she tries to convince Macbeth to kill Duncan when he stays at their home for one night. Lady Macbeth shows her manipulative ways as she tries to change Macbeth’s mind on the whole situation. She often mentions his love for her and his masculinity in hopes to shame him into committing the murder. In hopes of forcing him to go on with the plan, Lady Macbeth says, “From this time such I account thy love” (I. vii. 42-43). Lady Macbeth is saying that this is how she will see Macbeth’s love for her. She is telling him that if he does not go through with the killing, she will see him and his love as vapid and spineless. All in all, when Lady Macbeth was told of Macbeth’s prophecy, she quickly jumped to the solution that requires power in the quickest way possible. Additionally, in the 2010 adaptation of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth’s corruption is shown through her willingness to go along with her husband to commit the murders. In multiple scenes, the couple is seen holding hands. This symbolizes both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth’s corruption. They are committing awful acts for power and they are doing it together. Despite what treasonous things must be done, she manipulates Macbeth to kill his friend and king all because of the opportunity to be in power.
After Macbeth and Lady Macbeth assassinated...