Macbeth's Ambition Essay

Macbeth’s Ambition Ambition can often times be considered the motivation in one’s life. It is one of the key sources to success. Ambition can blind one from determining from what’s right and what’s wrong. Having much ambition can have positive or negative effects. In Macbeth by William Shakespeare Macbeths ambition led to destruction of himself. One’s ambition can over power them and cause them to act differently. Macbeths ambition over powers him and controls who he really is not. “The prince of Cumberland! That is a step on…the eye fears when it is done, to see. ” (1. 4. 11) Macbeth knows that killing Duncan is not right because he states, “…it’s necessary to hide his black and deep desires. ” The ambition that Macbeth is portraying is careless. Macbeth’s ambition led him to only focusing on one thing and it was the throne. He became manipulative and greedy. Macbeth no longer cared about his morals or values of life. Macbeth’s ambition was the cause of all the murders he committed. His greed for power. He also allowed his ambition to get in the way and cause him to kill more. His goal no longer was to care for the people, but it was to be crowned king.

In the beginning Macbeth did not want to kill Duncan, but with the words from his wife and his own ambition the killing occurred. Second, Macbeth tells his men to kill Banquo, his closet friend. Macbeth will not let anyone stand in his way of his own ambition. “Macbeth’s ambition causes him to kill many people, which in turn leads to his ruin. Firstly, Macbeth kills Duncan. Macbeth wants to fulfill his ambition to be king. Killing Duncan is vital in this case. Initially, he is hesitant, but by the help of his wife and his vaulting ambition, he kills Duncan.

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It is noted that having succumbed to his ambition to gain the crown by whatever means”(Lamar 8). Macbeth knows that he can be crowned king by killing important people. He allows his ambition to help him kill. Macbeth had gotten so intact with being king that he didn’t realize that the witches weren’t helping him, but they were actually hurting him. ” your castle is surprised, your wife and babes/savagely slaughtered. To relate the manner/where on the quarry of these murders. ” (4. 3. 240-244) This quotes shows he had really become power hungry. His actions caused Macduff to turn against him.

Having people who could in the long run have a higher ranking than one is never good. In the end one may need them. Macbeth’s ambition got the best of him and Macduff’s family. He only sets the trap of his own death. He was unprepared for what was to come. Which was Macduff killing him. Ambition can take over your image of someone who you once were. Ambition can change ones whole mind frame. Too much ambition cam also lead you to become blind of obvious signs. Macbeth was a very high ranked leader, but when he let his ambition over take him he became weak. Is this a dagger which I see before me. The handle toward my hand? /Come let me clutch thee. ” (2. 1. 44-47) Macbeth begins to feel guilty for killing Duncan. He then becomes weak. Macbeth’s ambition has gotten him worried that the sons of Banquo will come along and take the throne. Macbeth becomes worried and gets together a plan to kill Banquo’s sons. Banquo’s ghost lets Macbeth know that his ambition has led him to corruption and changed who he really is. By then it is too late. Macbeth is now feeling really guilty. It is evident because he starts talking to the ghost.

He goes insane in front of many of people. Many of them loose faith in Macbeth and sees him les of a man. “Macbeth’s guilt (and worry) manifests in the form of Banquo. ” (Alpeche 2) Macbeth’s guilt leads to paranoia which leads him to kill more people. When Macbeth felt like there was someone who would steal his glory of being king he killed them. His ambition had gotten out of hand and everyone saw it. Macbeth should have chosen his battles wisely instead of going on killing everyone. Ambition can change the mind set of one.

Having ambition really does have a downfall. Being a leader with much ambition can cause you to loose focus on what is important. Having much ambition can lead to madness and destruction. Macbeth went from a highly looked up to leader to someone who is as low as a servant. Works Cited “Macbeth. ” Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Michelle Lee. Vol. 100. Detroit: Gale, 2006. Literature Resource Center. Web. 30 Mar. 2010. Maginn, William. “Lady Macbeth. ” The Shakespeare Papers of the Late William Maginn, LL. D. Ed. Shelton Mackenzie. Redfield, 1856. 171-208. Rpt. n Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Laurie Lanzen Harris and Mark W. Scott. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale Research, 1986. Literature Resource Center. Web. 30 Mar 2010. “Macbeth. ” Shakespearean Criticism. Ed. Michael L. LaBlanc. Vol. 80. Detroit: Gale, 2004. Literature Resource Center. Web. 15 Apr. 2010. Bloom,Harold. Bloom’s Guides:Macbeth. United States of America:Chelsea House Publishers. 2004. Print. Day,Karen. Shakespeares World and Work. Newyork:Charles Scibners Sons. 2001. Print. Moss,Joyce and Wilson,George. Literature and its Times. Detroit:Gale. 1997. Print.


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