Shakespeare's Macbeth is a heroic tragedy that shows the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition for those who seek power for its own sake. These psychological effects can be seen in many characters, but are most clearly displayed in the main character Macbeth. Macbeth begins the play as a noble and stable character- a loyal husband, subject, and the Thane of Glamis. However, as Macbeth receives more power and becomes more ambitious, he loses his mental stability. Macbeth’s mind deteriorates from his strong ambition, his guilt of killing, and the paranoia that comes of power. You can also see Macbeth’s mind deteriorate by examining his visions, attitude toward fear and death, and how
Ambition is a quality within every human, however it sometimes drives people to partake in totally unnatural actions. As illustrated in William Shakespeare's Macbeth, some forms of ambition can push people into becoming a person very sinister and evil. The ambition which Macbeth and Lady Macbeth encounter within Shakespeare's play not only drives them to become ruthless killers, but is the cause of the two characters meeting their demise. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth turn away from the honest and gentle people they once were and instead become "the dead butcher and his fiend-like queen." ( V, sc viii, 69)
Throughout the play Macbeth allows his pride to interfere with his judgment and succumbs to the witches’ prophecy, leading to his tragic downfall. “Macbeth orders a slaughter of innocents in a vain and futile attempt to preserve kingships threatened by prophecies” (Hassel). He murders King Duncan, his good friend, in order to secure his fate as king. Although Macbeth knows the difference between right and wrong, he is a victim of his tragic flaw: his ambition. His tragic flaw repeatedly leads him to deceit and murder.
Firstly, Ambition was one of the main themes in Macbeth,Whilst ambition can be a positive motivating force, we see its negative effects in the play as well. However, one of the good examples of this is When Lady Macbeth’s manipulate Macbeth to kill the king so Macbeth can be the king. “To be the same in thine own act and valor as thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life, And live a coward in thine own esteem,
Macbeth’s character is a clear example of how ambition corrupts man’s personality. After a brief period of hesitation, he finally decides to take the infamous way of murder in order to make his political desires come true. His ambition, stronger than the moral and social condemnation of killing, becomes his sole motive. The American philosopher David Young goes further in this analysis and sees in Macbeth how “the act of regicide is a ready means of illustrating the genesis of tragic structure in struggles for power'; (Young 318).
Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.” The main character of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Macbeth, is filled with ambition. Macbeth is a Shakespearean play in which Macbeth is given a prophecy by three witches which tells that he will eventually become king of Scotland. Macbeth, filled with ambition to fulfill these predictions, let’s nothing get in his way. The principles within Macbeth direct him and his ambition to perform very bad acts. Between Macbeth and his wife, the theme of ambition without morales leads to absolute destruction is abundantly present, especially as the play progresses.
Initially as a brave and confident character Macbeth had a natural ambition that did well for his country. He identified traitors and used his ambition in a positive way to continue doing good and proving himself. The witches prophecy sparked Macbeth’s ambition and his thirst for power. As he received the forecast of his future, “All hail Macbeth, Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor. All hail Macbeth. That shalt be king hereafter” (1.3.4-8 ). It gave him a false vision and confidence of what could possibly be his. Stated in the prophecy was Macbeth receiving the title of Thane of Cawdor and later on becoming the King of Scotland. With Macbeth catching a traitor to Scotland and being given the title Thane of Cawdor he did not make the connection that he earned this position, he thought the witches gave it to him. Although Macbeth was still questioning the prophecies and what he should believe, his ambition followed through and made him think the prophecy was real. The witches simply gave Macbeth a vision and played with his mind that was easily tricked. This first error Macbeth made was being
Ambition is a great quality to have when pushing for the right goals. Ambition helps when wanting to achieve something great. But, if used selfishly or for the wrong thing; ambition can lead to terrible things. Ambition caused Macbeth’s downfall because it caused him to be motivated to kill, go insane from guilt of the actions, and get selfish with his goals.
Ambition plagues Macbeth over the course of the epic tragedy, conveying his sanity progresses to a state of mental illness through his murderous measures. At first, Macbeth is aware of the outcomes of murdering King Duncan, and contemplates whether to enact Duncan’s deposition. Consequently, Macbeth’s hamartia of determination causes him to formulate a strategy for the execution of Duncan, even though no other true motive is apparent: “I have no spur / To prick the sides of my intent, but only / Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself / And falls on th’ other,”(Shakespeare 1. ...
William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is a tragedy in which the main characters are obsessed by the desire for power. Macbeth’s aspiration for power blinds him to the ethical implications of his dreadful acts. The more that Shakespeare’s Macbeth represses his murderous feelings, the more he is haunted by them. By analyzing his hallucinations it is possible to trace his deteriorating mental state and the trajectory of his ultimate fall. Throughout the play Macbeth is never satisfied with himself. He feels the need to keep committing crime in order to keep what he wants most: his kingship. The harder Macbeth tries to change his fate the more he tends to run into his fate. His ambition and struggle for power was Macbeth’s tragic flaw in the play. Macbeth’s rise to the throne was brought about by the same external forces that ensure his downfall.
In the beginning of Act I, Macbeth is regarded by King Duncan and many others as a noble man, more specifically a “valiant cousin” and a “worthy gentlemen” due to his loyalty to the crown and courage in battle. As a reward for his courage and allegiance, Macbeth is to become the Thane of Cawdor in addition to his position as the Thane of Glamis. However, before notified of this “promotion,” Macbeth and Banquo meet with three witches who greet the men with prophecies regarding their futures. At this time, Macbeth is told he is to become Thane of Cawdor and the king of Scotland in the future, but the witches also give Banquo a prophecy that his descendants are also to become kings. In line 78 of scene iii, Macbeth questions their strange knowledge and commands, “Speak, I charge you,” in order to learn more about his future. Catching his attention with news of such value, his natural reaction is to inquire for more information. This can be considered a spark of Macbeth’s tragic flaw because selfishness begins to arise when he demands t...
Throughout the play, Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, Macbeth continuously decides bad choices and the consequences of these decisions catch up to Macbeth and result in his mental deterioration, however with Macbeth’s almost infant feel for ambition this makes him susceptible to manipulation, which then grows into an insatiable appetite for power. The acts of this with the manipulation from outsiders, causes his blind ambition, his false sense of security and then finally his guilt, which all contribute to his derangement.
Almost every person in the world can say that desires to posses certain things have driven them to take action, but at what point are people hindered by their inner moral compasses to suppress their ambitions for the best interest of society and themselves? William Shakespeare examines this question and the nature of ambition in his play Macbeth. In doing so, he suggests that acting upon unnatural ambitions and desires without morals and mindfulness leads to a manifestation of a deeply rooted evil that manipulates people’s characters and causes unforeseen results. In the play, Macbeth is told by witches that he will become Thane then King. After the first statement comes true, Lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth to kill King Duncan. He does so,
In the play ‘Macbeth’, Shakespeare expresses the idea that ambition can have a negative effect on others, resulting in their downfall too. In Macbeth, ambition is presented as a dangerous quality. It causes the downfall of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and triggers a series of deaths in the eponymous play. Ambition is therefore the driving force of the play. His wife is the driving force that encourages Macbeth to overcome his strong sense of guilt and take action on the prophecies. They are tempted by the idea that Macbeth will become king - Macbeth is not sure what to do but his wife is ruthless in getting what she wants - she views her husband as a coward and appears ready to do anything. Ambition leads to evil - it makes Macbeth stronger
At the beginning of the play, Macbeth was a kind and gentle person. The only time he killed is when he was in battle. Macbeth was loyal to the King (Duncan), and did as he wished. In battle, he kills a traitor to the Scotland who was a high ranking individual. For killing the traitor so bravely, Macbeth is awarded the title the Thane of Cawdor. The irony of this situation is that the title first did indeed belonged to 'a most disloyal traitor'(pg. 3, line 53). As Macbeth heads home with his new title and a lot more ambition. This is mainly because of the three witches who tell him he will be king. With this new ambition, Macbeth did not know what to think and he wrote a letter to his wife. By Macbeth writing this letter it showed at this stage he was still loyal because he still was sharing everything with his wife. Macbeth at this point still did not have a lust for power.