Play: Macbeth, by William Shakespeare

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As one of the shortest plays William Shakespeare has written, Macbeth represents Shakespeare most popular play. Throughout the play, many characters transpire, however the main character remains Macbeth, a laudable man who develops into a man engrossed by his ambition of power. In addition, Banquo, as another important character who develops as a dramatic foil to Macbeth and represents a brave and ambitious individual while he retains his morals unlike Macbeth. Macbeth eventually becomes recklessly ambitious through the pursuit of power. Through the development of the reckless and murderous nature of Macbeth, Shakespeare reveals the impact ambition and its effect while pursuing power. Shakespeare develops this theme through metaphor, dramatic foil, and diction.
Throughout Macbeth, Shakespeare employs metaphors to disclose the impact of ambition. In the middle of a contemplation, Macbeth finds his true motivation when saying “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent but only vaulting ambition” (1.7.25-27). Shakespeare utilizes “spurs” to reference the spurs used by a horse rider to urge a horse to gallop faster. Macbeth however lacks the need for “spurs” to rise to power due to the sheer power of his ambition. In addition, Shakespeare wields this to demonstrate Macbeth’s justification to his reckless actions and thoughts while trying to gain power. Furthermore, in the beginning of Macbeth’s pursuit of power, Macbeth notices “upon my head they placed a fruitless crown” (3.1.60). Shakespeare utilizes “fruitless crown” to metaphorically represent Macbeth’s impotence. Macbeth’s impotence worries leads to him fearing to lose the kingship. Also, Shakespeare uses metaphor in this circumstance due to the relatable way to signify tha...

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