preview

Macbeth's Ambition Character Analysis

Better Essays
When we think of ambitious characters, we often remember the iconic Disney villains, like Scar or Maleficent. They are classic villains who follow their ambition to achieve their goal. However, the archetype for the ambitious character started from the original and vastly interesting Macbeth, from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Macbeth’s ambition spurs him to take action, so he murders the current king, Duncan. After he gets the position of king, he struggles to rule and take definitive action, and instead becomes overwhelmed by his lust for power. While many scholars cite Macbeth’s ambition as his tragic flaw and the primary cause of his downfall, there are many other factors that lead to his death, such as his inability to lead and his paranoia.…show more content…
After Macbeth hears the prophecy and is convinced to murder Duncan, his ambition makes him do a series of rash and impulsive decisions, which starts his downfall. Macbeth has his last moment of doubt on the night of the murder, but still follows through with the plan: “Thou sure and firm-set earth,/Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear/Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,/And take the present horror from the time,/Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives./Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives” (2.1.64-69). Macbeth still feels guilty about killing Duncan, praying that this murder will not catch up to him. This soliloquy shows Macbeth’s last shred of morality leaving him. However, Macbeth does not call the whole plan off, because he is still ambitious enough to want to be king. Once he follows with the plan and murders Duncan, he could never go back: “But, in the step he took in murdering his kinsman and guest, he seemed to have put between himself and the possibility of better things a chasm which could not be crossed. From that day he began to drift away from all that was good. The evil of his heart became unreined, and it hurried him madly on in the dark pathway which now opened before him” (Munro 32). As a result of murdering the king, Macbeth commits treason, a crime big enough for punishment. It would be hard for Macbeth to go back to being a good ruler, as he got his position by treason and murder. As a result of killing the king, Macbeth’s ambition leads him away from the path of redemption, and he loses his morality and
Get Access