Causes Of Ambition In Macbeth

Good Essays
The society people live in today, is built on the ambitions and actions of the previous generations. Ambition is a component of human nature and survival instinct. However, ambition can be dangerous, as it has led to the downfall of many leaders in the past. One of the most well known example is Napoleon Bonaparte, after his attempt to invade Russia. Similarly, Macbeth's "vaulting ambition" causes a series of events to occur, which results in his own demise. In Shakespeare's Macbeth, ultimately Macbeth's ambition, fuels his paranoia and produces a tyrant that murders impulsively, which leads to the downfall of his character. Macbeth's over ambition is a prominent tragic flaw, as it results in the death of King Duncan, a turning point in…show more content…
As a result of the witches' prophecies, he believes, Fleance to be a threat. Until Fleance is dead, he believes he has a "...fruitless crown..." and "...a barren scepter in [his] gripe" (Macbeth 3.1.65-66). Macbeth becomes increasingly obsessed with Banquo's prophecies', as he realize there is truth in them, causing him to devise a plan to eliminate both. Despite, Banquo being Macbeth's kinsman, he does not hesitate to betray him, in order to secure the throne for future generations. He demonstrates his newly found distrust of Banquo by cursing his existence stating, that "every minute of his being thrusts/[a]gainst [his] near'st of life "(Macbeth 3.1.130-131). He becomes solely focused on easing his paranoia, that he begins to allow strong relationships to decay. Moreover, the paranoia and the guilt begins to deteriorate his mental health, causing him to hallucinate and become more erratic. His instability and guilt becomes more evident as he begins to hallucinate about Banquo's ghost and begins to scream at it, "[t]hou canst not say I did it" (Macbeth 3.4. 50). While planning Banquo and Fleance' murder, he was logical and level headed .However, when place within a situation, in which he believes he is being confronted, he begins to become overwhelmed with panic. The outburst causes many nobles men, present, to doubt if he is a capable king. Overwhelmed by…show more content…
He becomes more willing to kill, his murders become hasty and he no longer includes Lady Macbeth , signifying change in Macbeth. While confronted by Macduff, the latter yells "[t]urn, hell hound, turn!"(Macbeth 5.8.4). The fight between them solidifies Macbeth's status as a tyrant. Originally brave and honourable, he evolves into a character now comparable to a demon, from hell. For instance, he orders the death of Macduff's family, while enraged. During his visit with the witches, they warn him to "...beware Macduff,/[b]eware the thane of Fife" (Macbeth 4.1.78-79). After the witches' prophecies confirm that Banquo's descendants will claim the throne, Macbeth is infuriated. He has suspicions that his downfall will be caused by Macduff, and orders the death of his family. Macbeth does not consider the consequences of his actions. One of them being, furthering the decay of Lady Macbeth's sanity, which causes her to commit suicide. Ironically, by slaying Macduff's family, it incurs his rage, which leads to the event, resulting in his own demise. When Macduff receives news of his family's death, rather than letting grief "...blunt [] the heart", he "let[s] [it]/ [c]onvert to anger" (Macbeth 4.3.266-267). Vengeance becomes Macduff's main motivation for seeking Macbeth. By slaying Macduff's family his untimely downfall is indirectly, caused by him. However, some speculate
Get Access