Role of Ambition in Macbeth Essay

Role of Ambition in Macbeth Essay

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The play Macbeth written by William Shakespeare is based upon old Scotland and this is used as the general time frame. During this time, Monarchy still existed and Scotland is in war with Whales. There are many emotions that arise throughout the play, but the most important of all is ambition. “Ambition is the desire for personal achievement. Ambitious persons seek to be the best at what they choose to do for attainment, power, or superiority” (“Ambition”). The motif of ambition in the play is that being ambitious leaves one blind to certain areas and can drive one insane to reach the intended goal. Numerous characters that showed this trait throughout the play were Banquo, Macduff, Lady Macbeth, and Macbeth.
Banquo was a noble warrior and a Thane; at the beginning of the play he and Macbeth were close friends. While with Macbeth he met three witches who prophesied that his children would be king of Scotland. Banquo doubts the witches prophesies at first and even says to Macbeth; "have we eaten on the insane root/ that takes the reason prisoner"(1.3.87-8). This question posed by Banquo is basically asking Macbeth if they have gone mad and are hallucinating. Later, Banquo realizes that two of the witches' predictions for Macbeth have come true; Banquo begins to process the idea that maybe his children will become heir to the throne. Eventually, he confronts Macbeth saying, "I dreamt last night of the three Weird Sisters. / To you they have showed some truth"(2.1.25-6). Banquo was now ambitious for his line to take the throne; “Banquo’s character stands as a rebuke to Macbeth, since he represents the path Macbeth chose not to take: a path in which ambition need not lead to betrayal and murder” (Rev. of Macbeth). The fact that Ban...


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...ht that he was invincible.
In the play Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, there are many moods and emotions that occur. The main emotion however is the characters ambition. Some such characters that showed their ambition was Banquo, Macduff, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth, and their ambition also costed them their family and their lives and left them blind to others. Ambition is very important trait to possess because it is what keeps one going. On the flip side of that, there are always those who go to far to get what they want and wind up paying the consequences.



Works Cited


“Ambition.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Mar. 2010. Web. 28 Mar. 2010.
Rev. of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare. Sparknotes. Sparknotes LLC, 2010. Web. 28 Mar. 2010.
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Ed. Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. New York City: Pocket Books, 1992. Print.

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