Preview
Preview

Essay on Ambition: The Destruction of Shakespeare’s Macbeth

:: 4 Works Cited
Length: 1188 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

One of William Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies is that of Macbeth. It is also known as “the Scottish play,” primarily because of its Scottish setting and because it is based loosely after the life of a real King Macbeth of Scotland. (Mendham) This play is considered a tragedy because the protagonist of the play, Macbeth, will suffer a terrible downfall as the result of his actions. From the beginning of the play, Shakespeare effectively establishes the atmosphere of the play as one of doom and despair, where even nature is at war with itself. The main themes of this tragedy are power and betrayal. Throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare explores aspects of the human conscience. He pays particular attention to our sense of right and wrong, innocence and guilt. Once Macbeth has a taste of power he is continually driven by his desire for it. His fear of having his power taken away from him drives him to continue to act ruthlessly in order to eliminate all threats of being found out for his treasonous deeds and to maintain his position of power.

Macbeth has many admirable qualities. The first of his three greatest qualities to be brought forward is his courage as a dauntless war captain. “… As sparrows eagles, or the hare the lion. They were as cannons overcharged with double cracks, so they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe.” (Macbeth Act 1, Sc 2) It is admirable to have such courage when fighting for something one believes in or to defend one’s home and King. In the beginning, fighting for his kingdom was the primary application of Macbeth’s courage, but as events progress and his morals are corrupted we will find that his courage becomes a resource for his wicked deeds. Macbeth’s original pure-hearted courage fades away and wha...


... middle of paper ...


... itself.” (LitCharts) He is haunted in his sleep by guilt. “Macbeth does murder sleep.” (Macbeth Act 2, Sc 2) “Sleep symbolizes innocence, purity, and peace of mind and in killing Duncan Macbeth actually does murder sleep.” (LitCharts ) He murders the peaceful rest the kingdom had during the reign of King Duncan as well as his own peace and rest. “Our king was ruled by troubled sleep, undone by the ghosts of his secret self.” (Greider) In the end Macbeth has gone from an honorable and courageous man to one who is overly ambitious and morally corrupt.



Works Cited

God. "The Book for Teens, NLT." Solomon, King. Proverbs. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1999. 694.

LitCharts. litcharts.com. 2008-2011. 29 March 2011.

Mendham, Trevor. Macbeth. 2008-2011. 29 March 2011.

Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. New York: Simon and Schuster Paperbacks, 1992.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on Ambition: The Destruction of Shakespeare’s Macbeth - One of William Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies is that of Macbeth. It is also known as “the Scottish play,” primarily because of its Scottish setting and because it is based loosely after the life of a real King Macbeth of Scotland. (Mendham) This play is considered a tragedy because the protagonist of the play, Macbeth, will suffer a terrible downfall as the result of his actions. From the beginning of the play, Shakespeare effectively establishes the atmosphere of the play as one of doom and despair, where even nature is at war with itself....   [tags: Macbeth Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1188 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Destruction of Ambition without Morality in Macbeth by William Shakespeare - The Destruction of Ambition without Morality in Macbeth by William Shakespeare Macbeth, the story of a Scottish general who receives a prophecy that he will one day become king, uses many different images to complete the function that Shakespeare was trying to convey. The function of imagery in this play expresses ideas, creates character, and adds atmospheric effects. There is an immeasurable power of evil in one man, and Macbeth fits this line perfectly. After his murder of Duncan, his tyrannical reign begins and Macbeth is forced to continue on with more and more murders to protect himself from suspicion....   [tags: Papers] 568 words
(1.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Blind Ambition in Macbeth Essay - Among the greatest gifts that the renaissance produced was the eloquent and incredible Shakespearean plays. Written mostly in the 1590s these plays have been performed and admired countless times; entertaining mass audiences by providing interesting tales that explore the depth of human insights and the different universal themes. Among the many Shakespearean plays Macbeth, written in 1606, stands out with its short composition but multiple themes. This tragedy narrates the tale of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s quest to grasp ultimate power by ignoring their morals and succumbing to their dark desires, which ultimately leads to their downfall....   [tags: Ambition, Shakespeare, Macbeth] 855 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Driving Ambition in Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay - Ambition can be defined as the desire and willingness to strive towards achievement or distinction. On the contrary, driving ambition is the outright desire to achieve a certain goal, regardless of any possible consequences. In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, driving ambition caused Macbeth and his wife to murder King Duncan because of their desire for power. In an attempt to retain his power Macbeth also murdered Banquo and Macduff’s family. Through both of these cruel actions, Macbeth and his wife displayed that they are not concerned about the cost of the deed, but only final result that is achieved....   [tags: Ambition, Shakespeare, Macbeth] 1447 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Deception, Seduction and Ambition in Shakespeare’s Macbeth Essay - Thesis: Deception, seduction, and ambition are a lethal combination. Shakespeare’s Macbeth establishes this concept early on. Ambition is the motivational thrust that most often gives momentum as one tries to achieve success. However, without the occasional tune-up, Macbeth demonstrates how unchecked ambition can quickly become a speeding, out-of-control, vehicle that ultimately leads to destruction. In Macbeth, Shakespeare sets the themes of seduction, ambition, and deception amid a correlating backdrop, whether you are giving chase on a battlefield, standing in foul weather, or seeing apparitions of bloody daggers we sense danger from the opening act....   [tags: Macbeth, Shakespeare]
:: 2 Works Cited
2165 words
(6.2 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
The Self Destruction of Macbeth in Macbeth, and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice - It is evident in both plays by William Shakespeare that ambition and pride seem to be the “main” roles in the self destruction of Macbeth and Shylock. In Shakespeare’s tragedies, he conveys his most renowned sense of dignity and power found in man. “It typically presents the fall of a man who may be basically or originally good but is always corruptible through the temptations of the world and his own pride or ambition”(Felperin 158). Through the entire play we begin to see the transformation unravel....   [tags: Macbeth Character Analysis] 1887 words
(5.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Guilt and Ambition in Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay - ... Finally, the final manifestation of Macbeth’s guilt strikes him in the form of Banquo’s ghost at the feast, a supernatural event that reflects the unnatural deaths that occur in the play. Macbeth immediately addresses the ghost by saying, “Thou canst not say I did it: never shake/ Thy gory locks on me”, thus attempting to convince the apparition that he is not to blame for this murder and therefore not guilty (3.4.63-64). At the same time, the purpose of this remark is defeated because if he was not guilty, there would be no need to explain anything to the ghost....   [tags: murder, ruthless, conscience]
:: 1 Works Cited
837 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Macbeth's ambition Essay - An ambition for power can seem to be true perfection, but one should be careful what they wish for, because that power might be exactly what causes their downfall. In the play Macbeth written by William Shakespeare ambition plays a great role and is also a main theme. Ambition is often the motivating force in one's life. It is supposed to be the motivating factor that drives one towards success. The main character, Macbeth has ambition even though it leads him to his downfall. In contrast, Lady Macbeth pursues her goals with greater determination, yet she is less capable of withstanding the outcome of her actions....   [tags: William Shakespeare, Literary Analysis]
:: 1 Works Cited
923 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Cause of Macbeth's Destruction in William Shakespeare's Macbeth Essay - The Cause of Macbeth's Destruction in William Shakespeare's Macbeth      In William Shakespeare's Macbeth, Macbeth was a well-respected man of noble birth, but his fortune was reversed after he turned to darkness. He plummeted endlessly into a chasm of evil until his corrupt life was ended on the edge of Macduff's blade. Whose actions opened up the path of darkness to Macbeth. Whose actions led to Macbeth's demise. The answer is threefold. The weird sisters set Macbeth's fate into motion....   [tags: Expository Cause Effect Essays Shakespeare]
:: 3 Works Cited
1049 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about The Transformation of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play - The Transformation of Macbeth in William Shakespeare's Play Macbeth, once a noble and courageous warrior is transformed into an egotistical and ruthless tyrant. In the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, Macbeth encounters a transformation which brings him the crown, as well as his death. However, this transformation reached the point it did because three motivational factors. Throughout the tragedy the Three Witches (along with the prophecy), Macbeth's himself, and Lady Macbeth were motivational factors that manipulated Macbeth into committing murder and treason....   [tags: William Shakespeare Macbeth Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
807 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]