Using Literary and Linguistic approaches as well as historical context, explore the conception of power in Shakespeare's Macbeth with wider reference to Tarantino and Avary Pulp Fiction. In terms of thematics, both
Pulp Fiction are defined by their exploration of the cognate concepts of power and authority. However, Tarantino and Shakespeare both employ two very different techniques in order to explore it physically and psychologically.
Thus, Tarantino explores a very physical aspect of power within
Pulp Fiction (Text B) whereas, the subtle use of power within
(Text A) through a deep exploration of the
Jacobean sociohistorical context. Through the use of taboo subjects, especially within the
"Great Chain of Being". There is a constant, deep exploration shown by Shakespeare's use of linguistic devices. However Tarantino's provocation of the brooding physicality of power is used in a darkly comedic portrayal, showing the ferocity of a post modern culture, the constant bombardment of imagery using violence as an institution through which to attain crude forms of power.
When looking at Text A analytically, Lady Macbeth's character is central to the narrative. Specifically her Machiavellian battle for power undermines the ‘Great Chain of
Being’ and manipulates Macbeth in order to gain the political power. Lady Macbeth’s position within the Great Chain of Being, has no real power, so uses an intimidating form of manipulation, to subtly engineer the moral authority over Macbeth, needed to persuade him to commit regicide. Thus, the following quotation :
“Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it” , itself is an imperative biblical allusion, exploring the context of religion, with the religious authority it holds over an individual.Moreover, linguistically, the connotations of each clause are emotive, however, are contrasting. An innocent flower, would suggest almost an ethical naivety, whereas the serpent resonates in a biblical discourse, the creatist narrative of Adam and Eve, the deception faced by Macbeth. However, in Text B Mia Wallace, holds a similar stance of power, the dependence on her femininity, showing the small powers in both the postmodern era and the Jacobean. "
My husband, your boss – told you to take me out and do whatever I wanted." Within this, Mia is showing the level of power she holds indirectly over another character. Within a Marxist perspective is using her dependence upon a male figure, to manipulate her own causes. However, through the uses of their sex are able to manipulate the male protagonists. Such as within
Pulp Fiction during a speech made by
"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.” Here similarly there is a reference to the Bible, using religion to legitimise the use of coercive force. Thus, religion is used as a moral authority, it can be seen that it, is not just a conquest for power Jules believes himself to be the
”, taking the literal meaning of the quotation to a seeming extreme. The tone is slightly mixed between aggression and a calmness, using an emotive technique to exercise moral authority over those he's talking to. The lexis ‘ righteous ’ is a use of the hierarchy, similar to that within Macbeth
, it shows a belief of being above the other people whom is involved. The use of Witchcraft within text A is a highly emotive subject, as it disrupts the
Jacobean ‘Great Chain of Being’. Shakespeare not only explores this emotive concept within Katie Mills
Word Count 1 550 2 1,168 3 1,635
the theme of power, but also femininity, using them as a coterminous concept, rather than on a single stance. Opening with three witches, there is a play on power within religion, as it goes strongly against the Jacobean…