Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Corrupting Power of Ambition...

Power

It's a perplexing word. While we know that power often leads to corruption, at the same time it's the thing we strive for most as a human being. Perfection, for some reason means power, money, luxury...but sometimes the things we strive for the most, become our undoing. In order to gain something humans will go to great lengths in order to do so. Often falling into a trap of lying, cheating, manipulating, and, in extreme cases, resorting to murder in order to satisfy our voracious hunger for power.

There is no better example of this than the play Macbeth. Like in most of Shakespeare's Tragedy/Histories, we see the main characters, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, become so engrossed in the trap that they are willing to commit treason, heresy, and murder to quench their insatiable thirst for power. Which ultimately leads to their demise.

After their brutal betrayal of King Duncan, Macbeth's surreptitious murder of Banquo, and the ruthless slaughter of Macduff's family; it seemed that there wasn't anything that was going to stand in their way of the throne. One little betrayal here, five murders there and BAM the throne is free for the taking. It sounds good right?

Wrong. The problem is that once you use violence to feed your hunger for power, it's hard to stop. As the play progresses, and the bloodshed continues you witness both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth slip further into madness: Lady Macbeth, out of guilt, Macbeth, out of a drive to prove that his actions had merit. He was possessed by greed, corrupted by his ambition for power, and driven mad by his tyranical actions.

This play begs the question...Do the ends really justify the means? Was self jusification for their actions really worth it in the end? Or was their relentless ambition inevitably another path to Hell?

9 comments:

Smiles0415 said...

Okay, I don't TOTAllY get the question (over emily's head)...you're asking if what they did was worth it or if giving everything to get what they wanted led them to hell?...right?

I was actually just working on the Lady Macbeth character...and ya know...she could blame herself for EVERYTHING. No wonder she goes insane...she was the reason Duncun, the guards, her husband's best friend, Lady Macduff (who, i like to think, was her best friend...)and the Macduff family were kiled. SHE killed ALL of them. (not directly, but really, she did) And, becuase of her, her husband changes into a horrible man and leaves her for battle. Think about that. How sad and aweful. And it was ALL her fault. Her obcession with gaining power definatly led her to hell and she knew it. I feel so so bad for her. Like really, towards the end of the play...no wonder she killed herself...it's just so sad...*sympathy for Lady Macbeth*...wow.

thesexyswede said...

While I feel sympathy, to an extent, for Lady Macbeth at the same time I don't...

let me explain. She CHOSE her path. SHE decided to envoke the spirit of the devil to help HER in HER pursuit of the throne. HER ambition was her downfall, so I feel she got what she asked for.

An Ems...it was more of a rhetorical question to make you ponder more about the play's overall meaning. :D

Marisa of the Sea said...

All I can say is... Ahhhh, Macbeth, what a good play....

Smiles0415 said...

Ha ha ha...rhetorical question. Oops!...ha ha ha. Sorry.

Uummm...I don't know. She chose her path, but she chose wrong. yeah, she sinned. Yeah, she totally brought it upon herself, but everyone makes mistakes. I feel bad for someone when they drive their car into a telephone pole after they've been drinking and die or when someone gets an STD after commiting fornication or when an abusive father loses his relationships with his children becuase they won't take his abuse anymore and he's left alone. They brought the consequeces upon themselves, but I still feel way bad for them. I recognize that all of this is the path that Lady Macbeth chose, but that path sucks and I feel bad and sympathetic. ....I dunno. I just love Macbeth. I just love Shakespeare! And I just love all of you! Ah...*love to everyone*...*sigh*.

clazy rachy said...

Wait..... is this your english blog too???

thesexyswede said...

yes this is my english blog too.

that lisa girl said...

dude, I totally saw Macbeth at the Castle last night!! TOTALLY AWESOME!! omg, it was good. and my cousin was satan. or seyton, whichever you prefer. but he played both. and it was SO COOL! *sigh*... aahh. soo goo-! for real. ...yes. and I'm gonna stop talking now. but you should all come see Aida at the scera, one because I'm on crew and two because IT'S TOTALLY COOL TOO!! whoooo! ...*takes breath* k, I'm really done now.

Smiles0415 said...

Oh my gosh, you're cousin!!!!! You're cousin! I told tasha, and she was like, what the crap? Lisa's cousin? How did I not know this? and then she was like..."You got in of hecate's comp-tickets...that's freakin' amazing"...and it really is. Wow...Lisa's cousin! Gee. Oh, yeah, thanks for the tickets lisa! Yay lisa and lisa's evil looking cousin!!! (I know that he's not really evil...he's just a really really inspirational actor...aahhh...Hecate energy...)Thank's Lisa!!!!

The Asian Sensation said...

I enjoy the idea of her really loving lady macduff emily! seriously! because at the castle when lady macbeth went to warn them, i figured it was.... something.. along those lines.. I dunno. YUM macbeth!

I love macbeth... yay!