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?