TheIdea an Author Develops Regarding Pursuit of Self-Fulfilment
Sincetime immemorial, numerous people get lost in the pursuit ofself-fulfillment. Individuals who crave for fame and power often endup jeopardizing their health status. Thispaper discussed Macbeth and Stalin to indicate how rigorous pursuitof self-fulfillment can be a harmful task that can lead to thedeterioration of one’s psychological and physical state.
The play Macbethisa tragedy by William Shakespeare that sought to demonstratedetrimentaleffects of seeking power for one’s sake. Inherently,the play begins when witches deceive Macbeth that he has a fortune ofbecoming a king in the future1.Correspondingly, this fueled his ambition and lust for power. As aresult, he murdered King Duncan of Scotland and ascended to thethrone. However, he began to be haunted by guilt and paranoia, whichfurther led him to commit more murders in order to keep his crimes asecret and prolong his reign. Macbeth play reminds me of Stalin, alegendary leader in history. Stalin had ambitions and aspirations todevelop the Soviet Union when he was young. Ultimately, he ascendedto the sovereign authority, and become an infamous dictator. In orderto prevent being outshined by the opposition, he formulatedoppressive laws that protected his wellbeing. However, Stalin was notat ease towards the end of his reign. He was paranoid and oversuspicious. Anxiety emotions accompanied him until he died, in muchthe same way as Macbeth.
Stalinhad an ordinary and poor childhood. He studied hard as he desired tobecome reputable, in spite of poor family circumstances and theunfavorable conditions fueled by the Czarist Government1.During the first years in the divinity school, Stalin was anoutstanding student. Many people including the teachers predicted hecould have a bright future. Nevertheless, he abandoned school torealize his socialist dream. He experienced nearly 20 years ofpoverty for his ideal. Stalin became destitute, and he had to begalms for a living. Amidst his poverty, he was exiled to Siberia forseveral times. At that period, numerous people joined the revolution,but most of them gave up in a middle way or quitted because of thedifficulties faced. Due to Czarist Government poor planning andadministration, resources were scarce to promote development. Peoplehad to work more that fifteen hours in order to cater for the familyrequirements. Until that time, Stalin was an excellent youth who waspursuing his dream of building socialism, but things took an abruptturn when he got the supreme power in the Soviet Union.
Inthe ancient times, all dictators wanted to eradicate theircounterforce, and Stalin was one of them. In the early thirties,Stalin massacred individuals who opposed his leadership in what cameto be termed as a "Great Purge." People found havingnegative thinking towards Stalin, were killed and others send tolabor camps. From 1937 to 1938, the period is known as “GreatTerror" in the Soviet Union. Approximate 2 million peopleperished under the oppressive leadership and more people werearrested and tortured in cell chambers1.As discussed above Stalin became unscrupulous to consolidate hispower. He even extended his animosity to the agricultural sector whenhe forced farmers to hand over their tools, livestock, and farmland.However, many farmers used strikes to express their disapproval toStaling laws. Stalin interference with the farmers caused Holodomor(the Ukrainian famine) happened. Stalin gave orders that forbadehunger victims from leaving the country. Many historians believe itwas Stalin’s plan to eliminate Ukrainians as opposition. Thisfamine caused deaths of about 2.2 million Ukrainians1.Due to deteriorating conditions that rendered the country, Stalin’squest of self-fulfillment caused him to undermine his integrity andcommit murder.
Iagree completely with Shakespeare that the quest for self-fulfillmentcan change a person for the worse, especially when it is targeted atself-benefits at the expense of others. Both of Macbeth and Stalinclearly prove this viewpoint. In Stalin’s late life, the supremepower made him increasingly distressed. Stalin was worried aboutbeing poisoned, so he asked people to taste every dish before hecould consume. Furthermore, Stalin withdrew his trust from doctors,so he refused to see doctors for many years until he died because ofa cerebral hemorrhage. Stalin was ever vigilant and decided thetravel routes personally every time. Thus, it is definite thatStalin’s life was full of doubt and anxiety, which inevitablyinfluenced his health condition1.Stalin’s overarching ambitions disturbed him so that he could notget any peace of mind.
Inprinciple comparison,Stalin faced the same tragedyas same as Macbeth. Stalin planned the massacre of his critics toextend his reign while Macbeth killed King Duncan in order to fulfillhis selfish desires of assuming the throne. Nevertheless, theiractionsdisturbed them psychologically until death. Moreover, they becomefearful that other people will threaten their state, driving them todesperation. Consequently, Stalin and Macbeth’s pursuit ofself-fulfillment had undesirable effects on both their psychologicaland physical status. In overall, I believe William Shakespearesupposed that self-fulfillment should be guided by conscious,thoughtful decisions lest it leads to one`s destruction.
FryeRM. Hitler, Stalin, and Shakespeare`s Macbeth: Modern Totalitarianismand Ancient Tyranny. Proceedings of the American PhilosophicalSociety. 2013 Mar 1142(1):81-109.