There are many different types of power which a person may have. Some of the time, however, the person in that power is not the best person to be in that power. This is especially true in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Throughout the course of the play, the Three Witches and Lady Macbeth are the people with the most power over Macbeth’s life.
The more power that a person has, the more corrupt they become. Many different people in Macbeth have power, and there are different ways to be powerful, Usually, men are the ones who are outward and aggressive about it, and women are more subdued about it. Lady Macbeth has a great deal of power over Macbeth the power which she holds over him, is the fact that she possesses more of the “manly” quality than Macbeth himself does. Because of this, Macbeth is ashamed of himself. As a result of Macbeth’s shame, he attempts to do everything in his power to prove himself to Lady Macbeth. He is attempting to prove himself to Lady Macbeth, because she obviously has her doubts, “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.” (1,7,54-56). As a result of Lady Macbeth’s doubts and mocking, Macbeth finally murders Duncan in a final attempt to prove himself to Lady Macbeth.
Although Lady Macbeth was successful at convincing Macbeth to murder Duncan, the Three Witches were the people who made it all possible. The Three Witches hold the ultimate power. If the Three Witches had indeed not informed Macbeth about what was to be, then be would not have repeated the Three Witch’s prophecies to Lady Macbeth, “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.” (1,3,50-53). In turn, if Lady Macbeth had not been informed about the prophecies, she would have never expected Macbeth to murder Duncan in a desperate attempt to fulfill the prophecies. On the other hand, the Three Witches not only gave Lady Macbeth the opportunity to alter Macbeth into the tyrant which he now is the Three Witches also led Macbeth to his downfall soon after Macbeth came into power. How the Three Witches accomplished this, was they made Macbeth feel over-confident, “Be lion- mettled, proud, and take no care/ Who chafes, who frets, or where conspirers are:/ Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until/ Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill/ Shall come against him.” (4,1,98-102). In other words, the Three Witches were able to bring Macbeth into power, but in contrast to this, they were also able to take him out of it. The only way that they were able to take him out of it, was by deceit. While Macbeth was in this power, he had power over the common people’s lives, even though he used this power ruthlessly, “Send out moe horses, skirr the country round:/ Hang those that talk of fear.” (5,3,40-41). He had power over these common people, even though it was only for a minuscule amount of time.
What Shakespeare suggests about power, is that the more power a person has, the more corrupt they become. This is what Shakespeare attempted to communicate to the readers throughout the entire play. Macbeth changed from a man with high morales and values, “We still have judgement here that we but teach/ Bloody instructions, which being taught return/ To plague the inventor.” (1,7,8-10), to the merciless and over-confident murderer which he now is, “I will not be afraid of death and bane,/ Til Birnam forest come to Dunsinane.” (5,3,68-69). In conclusion, the Three Witches and Lady Macbeth were the people with the most power over Macbeth’s life. This is especially true for the Three Witches. The more power that Macbeth came into, the more corrupt he became.
St. Rosemary Educational Institution. "Power in Shakespeare’s Macbeth." http://schoolworkhelper.net/. St. Rosemary Educational Institution, Last Update: 2017. Web. Retrieved on: Friday 24th March 2017. http://schoolworkhelper.net/power-in-shakespeares-macbeth/.