Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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There will always be one prevailing evil, which is the cause of every evil that gradually follows. However, it is always good people that are seduced to act immorally, often driven by one supreme evil: selfish desires. Ambition is good, but it is what one ends up doing with that ambition that eventually seals their fate. In the play Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the recurring motif of blood and violence in order to further his theme that overreaching ambition leads to permanent consequences.
Guilt was a significant consequence for the selfish killing of King Duncan, and Shakespeare shows how Macbeth and Lady Macbeth were affected by guilt through the motif of blood. In the beginning, Macbeth was very satisfied with his life as a subject of King Duncan. Even so, the promising prophecies of three witches led him to believe that he could become king. He hastily makes the decision to eliminate Duncan, and any other obstacle that dares stand in his way. Soon however, he begins to feel the shame of his actions. He has blood on his hands, and fears it will cease to come off because of the permanent damage of his crime. He asks himself, “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand?” (II.ii.61-62) Trying to use the water for vindication, Macbeth explains how he thinks all of the oceans could never wash away the blood that stains his hands. The blood on his hands epitomizes murder and wrong, and Shakespeare conveys Macbeth’s inability to absolve the sins of murder through the guilt that accompanies it. He elaborates on the severity of his actions by stating, “No, this my hand will rather / The multitudinous seas incarnadine, / Making the green one red.” (II.ii.62-63) Macbeth foresees that his guilty hands will stain ...

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...ambition causes ill-fated repercussions is expressed through Shakespeare’s motifs of blood and violence in the play Macbeth. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s corrupt motivations resulted in dire consequences of guilt, and unavoidably, death. Motivation, as many know, is the main element towards success. Those who want to reach their goals are required to be ambitious. But, the relationship between action and ambition is crucial. Misguided ambition leads to misguided actions, and those destructive actions lead to even more vile actions. Macbeth’s first selfishly ambitious action led to all his evil actions that followed, as he transitioned from an honorable warrior to a paranoid and ruthless tyrant. Ambition consists of two paths: the reward of success or the consequence of downfall. Which path one decides to take, however, is the ultimate deciding factor in their fate.
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