Macbeth: Macbeth and Ambition Essay examples

Submitted By jujululu123
Words: 868
Pages: 4

13, March 2012

The King of Ambition

Macbeth by William Shakespeare is a tragedy about a war hero Macbeth, who follows his ambition with evil and who is repaid with evil. In the play, it show us the different sides between good and evil; heroes and villains; loyalty and treachery; and ambition and morality. Macbeth is a victim of circumstance because the witches and Lady Macbeth have influenced him, but on the other hand he is ultimately responsible for the actions that led to his fate; no one forces him to kill but himself.

The witches and their prophesies are the reasons that allow Macbeth’s ambition and hubris to come to light. When Macbeth meets the witches, they talk about his future as Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland. “Stay, you imperfect speakers. Tell me more” (1.3.68). It is immediately apparent that the witches' words have piqued his interest and awakened his sense of ambition, and he believes in them. After Duncan names Malcolm "The Prince of Cumberland", Macbeth’s ambition becomes stronger and he is motivated to use excessive force to achieve his goal of becoming a king, he will do whatever to make his goal come true just because of the prophesies. Fate may be the cause of Macbeth's initial contact with the witches, but his own ambition causes him to continue to seek them out.

The ambition and hubris overtake Macbeth; he wants more than being the Thane of Cawdor, he wants to become the King of Scotland. “So foul and fair a day I have not seen” (1.3.36). Macbeth considers letting Lady Macbeth help him making his dream come true and Lady Macbeth plans to kill the king, Duncan. She wants Macbeth to hide the real self and make his evil side come out. “Look like the innocent flower, But be the serpent under it” (1.5.64-65). Killing Duncan makes him successful in becoming the King of Scotland. But things wouldn’t always be perfect because the witches’ prophesies makes the second murder begin. He decides that he must kill Banquo and Banquo's son, Fleance, in order to protect his crown. Additionally, Macbeth proves he is in control of the situation and aware of the evil of his actions when he says, "Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill" (3.2.55-56). This methodical plan to murder Banquo and Fleance proves what Lady Macbeth believes about her husband. Banquo’s death makes Macbeth realize that he has killed a lot of people but he couldn’t go back because it’s harder to move on than go back. “I am in blood / Srepp’d in so far that should I wade no more” (3.4.136-137). He lost his mind by killing people, he couldn’t stop.

Macbeth keeps thinking of killing people, and has already lost his cousin Duncan and best friend Banquo. Although he can still get support from Lady Macbeth, because of his ambition and hubris he never cares about anything except killing others to save his title. When he receives the news about Lady Macbeth’s death, his reaction shows that he doesn’t have any feelings about it, after than “She should have died here after; / There would have been a time for such a word” (5.5.17-18). From the beginning, he