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Deception, Seduction and Ambition in Shakespeare’s Macbeth Essay

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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. The play commences with ominous weather where three witches are discussing whether they should meet in the midst of rain, thunder, or lightning the next time they gather, yet they are standing on a heath in threatening weather as they speak. You know that the plans, discussion, or events that are about to unfold are not good when the heavens are raging, and creatures are willing to risk their very existence and tempt the gods by venturing into a storm to plot their deeds. It brings to mind the Bible verse “Men love darkness rather than the light because their deeds are evil” John 3:19. The implication is that good deeds can be done out in the open, in the light of day, they can be broadcasted, whereas evil deeds must remain clandestine, planned under the cover of darkness in undisclosed places, so as to go undiscovered and plans unspoiled.
The three witches agree to meet again “When the battle’s lost and won / that will be ere the set of sun.” (1.1. 4 & 5). First, we have menacing, ill-omened weather and now ambiguit...


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...rom your soul. Macbeth although possessing great physical might lacked the strength to resist his most forceful foe, the master of manipulation, toughest temptress, and the superior seducer--ambition.

Work Cited Holy Bible: New Living Translation. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 2013. Print Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Ed. James Smith. Boston, English Play Press, 2010.


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