Ambition and the Downfall of Macbeth, Idi Amin, and, Napoleon Bonaparte

Best Essays
Ambition is a force that helps drive societies forward. When the power of a nation falls in the hands of a single person ambition takes many spectacular and ugly forms. It can be both the making and destruction of that person but regardless of the net effect, ambition will have deep socio-economic, political, and cultural roots. Three dictators were taken by ambition and it pushed them into a costly, long, battle to obtain and maintain power. Those leaders are Macbeth, Idi Amin, and, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Macbeth is the main character in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Macbeth was born into low ranking nobility and rose to fame as a general. He did so well in the military that he became the Thane of Glacis, which was later to be followed by the title: Thane of Cawdor.

Macbeth’s success is great but he was tempted by three witches to be even more ambitious. They gave him a prophecy that said “all hail Macbeth! Hail to thee of Glanis. All hail Macbeth! Hail to thee of Cawdor. All hail Macbeth! That shall be king hereafter.” (Shakespeare I.iii.6) This frightened and, amazed him because later that day part of the prophecy came true. He became thane of Cawdor. “And for an earnest of a great honor, he bade me, from him, call thee thane of Cawdor. In which addition, hail, most worthy thane! For it is Thine.” (Shakespeare I.iii.7). Banquo also gets a prophecy that contradicts Macbeth’s prophecy. ”lesser than Macbeth and greater. Not so happy yet much happier. Thou shalt get king, through thou be none so all hail Macbeth and Banquo.” (Shakespeare I.iii.6)

Macbeth wrote a letter to his wife about the prophecy and she became ambitious for Macbeth initially. She convinced him to kill King Duncan and not wait for fate to give him t...

... middle of paper ...

...The men lived off the land but in the tundra where the enemy follows a scorched earth policy, thousands died on the march to Russia. Another European coalition invaded France, fighting a weakened army and Napoleon went into exile. Napoleon’s ambition made him, tore him down and killed thousands along the way.

These three men made history. They came from small backgrounds and found an opportunity. They rose to power by luck and skill. They protected what they obtained with deadly implications. They all pushed the limits to hard to gain more power and lost. This was the ambition of Macbeth, Idi Amin and Napoleon Bonaparte.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Macbeth New York: Dover, 1993

More or less, killer file. Idi Amin February 20, 2001

Woods, Alan. The rise and Fall of Napoleon Bonaparte

Somerset De Chair- Harper. Time Magazine October 23, 1950
Get Access