Corruption of power was a very evident theme in both Emperor Jones and Macbeth. In both plays the main character was corrupted for different reasons. However, many similarities lie within the storyline which contributed to the downfall of both Jones and Macbeth.

In both plays, each character began as "common". Jones was even portrayed to be a criminal at one point in his life. They were brought to power by different reasons. Jones’ reason was his deception towards his people and Macbeth’s position was appointed to him. Both of these men continued to strive for absolute power. Their selfish and ambitious nature drove them to be power-hungry. This became the tragic flaw in their character. In both plays, the leader realizes that his time as ruler may soon come to and end when the people of the story revolt against him. This did not have as much effect on either of the men because of the fantasy that had been created by their own minds. Jones believed that he can not be killed unless it is of a silver bullet, Macbeth believed that he can not be killed unless it is by one not born of woman. Having absolute power had led these men to think that they were immortal and invincible. However as the story progresses we are shown that they are not immortal. Another similarity which occured were the apparitions which appeared to Jones and Macbeth when they were each alone. These apparitions caused the men to progress further into their downfall from power. Jones slowly shrinks back to where he has started from which is symbolized by the loss of clothing after each vision is witnessed. Macbeth became more eager to gain success after each of his visions were sighted. This is where there are differences in the reactions of the men.

After each apparition Jones became more vulnerable and emotional. The visions that he encounteeds reminded him where he once was and brings him down from his pedestal. At the end of the play he is well aware of the mistakes that he had made and ends up dying by the fantasy he thought would never come true. In contrast to Jones, Macbeth reacted the opposite to the visions that he encountered. The apparitions predicted his future whereas Jones’ retold his past. Macbeth was encouraged to pursue the predictions because of the positive outcome foreseen. Unlike Jones Macbeth did not show much emotion especially when his was informed of his wife’s death. He replied that she had picked an inconvenient time to die and he did not have time to grieve for her.

The corruption of both Jones and Macbeth was based upon their tragic flaw to gain as much power as possible. Their downfall from the climax showed how ambition can control life. It transforms the person into one of ruthless nature, determined to obtain the highest point of strength at whatever is necessary to accomplish that goal. You create tales in which you end up believing causing you to lose whatever little pride you once had.