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Ambition in Macbeth Essay examples

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In the play of “Macbeth”, Shakespeare gradually and effectively deepens our understanding of the themes and most importantly the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The main theme of Macbeth is ambition, and how it compels the main characters to pursue it. The antagonists of the play are the three witches, who symbolise the theme appearance and reality. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s relation is an irony throughout the play, as most of their relation is based on greed and power. This is different from most of Shakespeare’s other plays, which are mostly based on romance and trust. There is also guilt that leads Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to the final consequences of the play. As the progresses, the constant changes in Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are exposed.

The relation of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth takes a few turns throughout the play. It starts with Lady Macbeth being in control and dominating Macbeth. Then suddenly Macbeth turns into an unhesitant man, who gets accustomed to killing and getting his own way. The dire changes in the characters affect the couple’s relation extremely.

Shakespeare introduces the protagonist of the play as a valiant and a prominent character, even before the audience meets him. Macbeth’s fellow soldiers give us a view of his bravery and courageous manner. In order to prove his loyalty towards his king, Macbeth had won the appalling war against Norway, and became a hero:
“For brave Macbeth – well he deserves that name – Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel, which smoked with bloody execution.”
Shakespeare’s effective use of word choice in ‘brave’ makes the audience understand the protagonist deeply. Ironically, later in the play, Macbeth’s ambitions take over him and become the antag...


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...ave died hereafter; there would have been a time for such a word.”
Macbeth cold-heartedly states that Lady Macbeth would have died sooner or later, and that this news was bound to come someday. This behaviour of Macbeth’s startles the audience, as how can one be so remorseless. Shakespeare has changed the character of Macbeth as a tyrant, who only cares about his power and nothing else.

In trying to achieve everything possible, the Macbeths’ tragically lose everything instead. Shakespeare has effectively showed us the consequences of murder and power. The main symbolic signs of blood, murder and guilt throughout the play, gave the changes of the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth efficiently. What once started as a dominating relation and taking decisions together, turned into a relation in which neither Macbeth or Lady Macbeth cared for one another.


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