Vaulting Ambition and its Resulting Conflicts

1151 Words5 Pages
“Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others” – Niccolo Machiavelli Ambition can drive people to do spectacular things. It can also drive people to perform very narcissistic actions. It all depends on the intent and value of the act. In William Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, written in 1606, conflict is clearly driven from the vaulting ambition of the determined protagonist, Macbeth. When ambition begins to consume an individual, relationships deteriorate and conflict arises. During the time the piece was written, an interest of the supernatural was amongst the people of England, and chiefly from King James I, the ruler at the time. The supernatural influences within the play drive the plot forward, creating a whole new realm of conflicting ideas, and character personalities clashing against each other. The direct physical conflict between characters throughout the play is very apparent due to the outcome of the quarrels, which is often fatal. With any struggle comes a battle internalized inside of a characters head, resulting in internal conflict. Conflict is inevitable to drama, and plays a major role in this Jacobean-era play. Super natural forces are like none other. These exclusive capabilities can set off a chain effect of catastrophe, tragedy, and pathos. Most conflicts within Macbeth can be traced back to the actions of the witches. When the witches deliver the prophecies to Macbeth, they set off a thirst for exaltation within him, sending him off on a journey on which he will never falter until all who stand in his way are eliminated. When Macbeth is named Thane of Cawdor, Banquo is bewildered. He exclaims allowed, “what, can the devil speak tr... ... middle of paper ... ...nce, who would be able to see this character grow weaker, as Macbeth sees himself only as growing stronger on the outside. It is those who cannot achieve power from greatness who decide to take it be force. If ruthlessness derives from ambitious thinking, there is bound to be conflict to be developed along the way. Those who show no mercy will achieve what they desire. However, that approach to exaltation will only build them up higher for a harder fall. Those who take the time, and climb the tree to success slowly will ultimately be rewarded with the nobleness of which they sought out in the first place. An empty downfall is guaranteed to someone who snatches his or her success from the hand of the unsuspecting. “Once to every person and nation come the moment to decide. In the conflict of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side.” – James Russell Lowell

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