Ambition is usually what drives most towards success, however, in Shakespeare’s
MacBeth, it is was leads MacBeth towards his downfall. Ambition is a quality which many crave, though it is shown through MacBeth that it is not always a positive attribute. He proves that ambition was a major component in his demise.
MacBeth had made it very easy for the witches to help destroy him. The witches had fed off of his own ambition to make it effortless for them to help in MacBeth’s destruction. “Stay you imperfect speakers. Tell me more……. With such prophetic greeting. Speak, I charge you.” (Act 1, Scene 3 Page 19 Line 73-81). This clearly shows
MacBeth’s strive and ambition for power, which was undoubtedly seen by the witches. “I conjure you by that which you profess (Howe’er you come to know it), answer me…….
Even till destruction sicken, answer me to what I ask you.” (Act 4, Scene 1 Page 123
Line 51-64). This, again, emphases MacBeth’s all-consuming ambition. MacBeth’s ambition had blinded him from thinking straight and had led him to his own breakdown.
MacBeth’s ambition had fired his desire for power. His urge to be king led him towards bad decisions, which steered him towards his demise. “If it were done when ’tis done, then ‘twere well it were done quickly……. I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on th’other-” (Act 1,
Scene 7 Page 39-40 Line 1-28). This shows MacBeth’s want and need for power, while also demonstrating the extent he will go to achieve this power. Though, at this time,
MacBeth did not realize what this power would do to him.
Once MacBeth had tasted power, his ambition had rose. His thoughts had become
irrational which led him towards making risky decisions to keep his power. “And to that