Theme Of Ambition In Macbeth Essay

Theme Of Ambition In Macbeth Essay

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In William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, many selections, by themselves, can show the universal theme and significance of the work. A universal major theme in this work is the corrupting power of unchecked ambition. The main theme is powerfully expressed in the play’s two main characters, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The two main characters demonstrate this when they decide to kill Duncan and they aren’t able to stop their violence after committing just the one act. The problem, suggested by the play, is that once someone decides to use violence in order to increase their own power, without caring about the consequences, it will be very hard for this person to stop. An example of this problem is in act I scene VII, where Macbeth admits to himself that there is no reason to kill Duncan other than he wants all the power for himself. Many selections in William Shakespeare’s work expresses how Macbeth’s “vaulting ambition”, quest for power, and his wife being a driving force in his dangerous increase in ambition are all reasons for his downfall.
The main reason for Macbeth’s downfall is his “vaulting ambition” and constantly being coerced into doing things he does not necessarily want to do. A primary example of this coercion is Lady Macbeth convinces him he has to kill Duncan in order to gain the power he deserves. Macbeth doesn’t want to nor thinks there is a reason to kill Duncan, but he listens to Lady Macbeth and continues with the plan. He tells the readers himself that he knows there is no reason to kill Duncan, but he’s still going to go forward with it because Lady Macbeth says so. “I have no spur/To prick the sides of my intent, but only/vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself/And falls on the other” (I, VII). He believes ther...


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...recognize that Macduff was still able to kill him because he was born from a C-Section. He did not pick up on this because he only heard the part of the witches prophecy that he wanted to hear. He wanted his power to be absolute and with the prophecy it was just that. Macbeth’s power corrupted him into becoming a tyrant, and led him to an internal stage where he fatally misconceived himself as being invincible. These reasons all led to Macbeth’s death and ultimate downfall.
Macbeth’s tragic downfall was a direct result of his “vaulting ambition” and quest for power. His mind was manipulated by the power he gained from his acts of violence and corruption. The themes of corrupting ambition and power are best seen through the main characters Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, as their actions and decisions highlight their transformations throughout Shakespeare’s work.

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