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Tragic Ambition In Macbeth

Good Essays
When a character’s ambition goes unchecked by moral constraints, unfortunate consequences such as the suffering of others are inevitable, rendering him a tragic hero. One’s ambition is ever-changing and therefore extremely volatile; it can be dramatically influenced by both internal and external sources. Although ambition is usually considered to be an admirable trait, it is able to catalyze both positive or negative acts. In William Shakespeare’s tragic play Macbeth, the protagonist, Macbeth, is portrayed as a tragic hero who, due to unhealthy sense of ambition, acts as an instrument of the suffering of the other characters by leading them to horrible deaths and eventually experiencing a similar demise himself. Macbeth shares the prophecy…show more content…
William Shakespeare’s portrayal of Macbeth initially sees Macbeth as a humble and loyal soldier whose prophecy-sparked ambition leads him to take destructive means of action to confirm the prophecy’s outcome. Upon becoming the Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth shares the prophecy with his wife, who not only shares but also augments his ambition - this leads to the death of King Duncan and eventually her own downfall. Despite Macbeth’s initial hesitation towards Lady Macbeth’s assassination plot, Lady Macbeth heavily bolsters her husband’s ambition by questioning his manhood. She quotes “Under my battlements. Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood. Stop up the access and passage to remorse, that no compunctious visitings of nature shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between the effect and it!” Absolutely certain of Macbeth becoming the king, Lady Macbeth immediately plans on using the feast as an apparatus for her assassination plot, which implies that she is willing to do whatever is necessary to allow her husband to seize the throne. Contrastingly, while Macbeth’s intentions are uncertain, Lady Macbeth continually reinforces her husband’s ambition. Nonetheless, Lady Macbeth’s influence…show more content…
Likewise, Macbeth functions as a tragic hero, conducting the suffering of others and painting the tragic background of the play. For instance, he is initially recognized as a hero in the military; however, his flaw, unchecked ambition, makes him the prisoner of his own thirst for power and steers himself and others towards miserable fates. Thus, when a character’s ambition is harvested without the question of moral constraints and ethics, flawed decisions are bound to be made; this will undoubtedly instigate unfortunate consequences such as the suffering of others, therefore rendering the character a tragic