Edelman's Claim and its Reference to Shakespeare's "Macbeth"
“Macbeth” is one of the most famous tragedies written by William Shakespeare. The play is based on the stories of the real Scottish king. It is dated back to 1606. In this tragedy, William Shakespeare reveals all the vices of men as well as all intrigues in political and social life. He shows that if people kill once, they remain blood-stained for the whole life. Lee Edelman, a professor from Tufts University, wrote an essay about society and politics in 2004 called “No future”. This essay will explore the common things between the society and politics and analyze the ideas that can be read between the lines.
In any generation, mankind encounters unique and immortal issues such as politics, jealousy, war, power, and human beings’ sins. The two masterpieces mentioned above reflect all these problems and create similar atmosphere. In both works, the authors describe political life, intrigues, and all human sins which stay behind wars, betrayals, and murders. Shakespeare shows this in the form of a play, dialogues, and different actions of actors which represent real historical figures of that epoch. Edelman shows this in the form of argumentative essay in which he monitors situations and gives real examples of famous rulers of different countries. Both writers reveal spoilt and decaying society with hopeless dreams about the future. There is a great difference between the two periods, but they show exactly the same concepts. Shakespeare gives an opportunity to feel this situation. Edelman, being a professor and having a right to give his own opinion, provides a full analysis taking examples from different epochs and revealing secrets of politicians.
Witches who were predicting a bright future for Macbeth are associated with inner sins of human being, from one point of view. From another point of view, they are so-called prototypes of PR companies which create a positive image of their candidates writing bright speeches and brave scenarios like in the case of Bill Clinton analyzed in Edelman’s essay. Macbeth always describes himself as a brave and honest soldier. He blames betrayers, prays about king’s health, and defends Duncan. It resembles the image of Bill Clinton in Edelman’s essay – serious, responsible family man caring about children and young generation.
Edelman refers to inner sins as to the first step to “no future”. The same situation is shown by Shakespeare in his play when Macbeth’s wife, being envious and angry, initiates a murder; on such a ground, she wants to build the whole political system. Personally, it is possible to understand her: Macbeth is her husband, she is proud of him, and she wants to see him as a wise ruler. This is a conflict of interests. Edelman, in his work, says about some kind of resistance when people do not want to follow political reforms. They do not accept new political systems, because they do not want such systems. In Macbeth’s situation, political changes were dictated not by logical thinking or desire to improve people’ lives but by jealousy, envy, and hatred. Macbeth kills Duncan, blames his sons, and goes to Scotland to be crowned as a new king. Certainly, it is not possible to build qualified political system on such initially negative conditions.
Edelman compares political life with mathematical calculations. Looking at Macbeth’s example, it is possible to say that it is true. Macbeth’s wife predicted and planned everything as a formula. Edelman’s position about “death - drive” is clearly illustrated when Macbeth kills Duncan and his soldiers. In order to reach some goals, it is necessary to remove somebody else. For some people, it is a drive to go ahead, but for the others it is death. Personal goals of people to be rich and powerful make them more egoistic and cruel. The key thing here is that it happens behind the whole political system.
As a conclusion, it is possible to say that these two masterpieces, separated by a considerable period of time, generations, and epochs, reveal very close concepts in political systems. I really wonder how it is possible that so many years passed by, and nothing has changed. Political systems still work in the same scenarios using more sophisticated technologies and gadgets. Unfortunately, the world is not becoming better.