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Theme Of Ambition In Macbeth

Good Essays
Grace Stafford
Mr. Tappy
English 1-2
9 December 2013
The Darkness of Ambition
President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wife Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Ambition is pitiless. Any merit that it cannot use it finds despicable.” Ambition can be an emotion that can drive people to madness and this character flaw is seen in William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. Macbeth is about a Scottish Thane that decides to kill the King of Scotland to get the crown. This murder starts a chain of evil acts by Macbeth because he doesn’t know how to handle his ambition. By the end of the play the reader learns that ambition was really Macbeth’s downfall. In the renowned play Macbeth, Macbeth’s character flaw of ambition causes him to self destruct over anything else.
At the very beginning of the play Macbeth is already starting to be overtaken by his yearning for power. Macbeth’s ambition starts to blind him when three witches tell him that he will be Thane of Cawdor and King. The reader can see his desire for power begin to grow and blind him in this quote, “This supernatural soliciting
Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill,
Why hath it given me earnest of success,
Commencing in a truth? I am Thane of Cawdor,”
(Act I.Scene III.134-137).
This quote explains how Macbeth thinks how could killing the King be bad or good? If anything the witches say is bad then why am I Thane of Cawdor? If he wanted to do the right thing he wouldn’t even think about killing King Duncan. Ambition is already starting to show as his flaw. Later into the act, Macbeth’s lust for power comes into full swing when he decides that he will kill Duncan. This lust blinds him to what he really should do. The audience can see this greed in this quote, “If it wer...

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...eactions of ambition such as lying, cheating, and stealing to get ahead.
Everyone has flaws but very few peoples’ flaws end in their destruction. This ,however, is not the case in Macbeth. The main character, Macbeth, uses his flaw of ambition and ends up getting killed for it. His ambition starts out small such as just thinking of the idea of killing Duncan but then turns into to actually killing him. After that, he kills his friends,innocent women and children, and he brings pain and suffering unto his country. However, in the end he is finally able to see that he has been blinded and he hasn’t taken the right path. Like when Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Ambition is pitiless. Any merit that it cannot use it finds despicable.” Ambition doesn’t pity anyone and it devours every good aspect of people. Macbeth is a famous example of what ambition can do to a person.
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