Examining Ambition in Macbeth
Ambition is a very powerful thing, and it’s what drives people to accomplish their dreams and goals no matter the cost. Ambition can produce negative outcomes when it comes to people getting what they want, even if it means killing other people. In Macbeth there is a lot of evidence where ambition produced negative outcomes. These negative outcomes were death, broken friendships, and the destruction of the kingdom. The outcomes all came to past because Macbeth was determined to become king no matter what.
Negative ambition turns friends on friends and allies on allies, so that the backstabber can gain personal status. Macbeth sent murderers to kill his friend Banquo and his son Fleance, but Fleance escapes. In Act 3 Scene 1 lines 124 to 129 Macbeth says to the murderers, “The moment on ’t; for ’t must be done tonight… And with him to leave no rubs nor botches in the work Fleance, his son, that keeps him company, Whose absence is no less material to me than is his father’s, must embrace the fate Of that dark hour. ” Ambition led Macbeth to turn on a friend by hunting him and his son down. The same friend who was on Macbeth’s side and had his best interest, but because he and his son stood in the way of his goal, they had to die. Macbeth didn’t stop with killing Banquo as he also sent the murderers to kill Macduff and his family. In Act 4 Scene 1 lines 91 to 94 Macbeth says, “But yet I’ll make assurance double sure, and take a bond of fate. Thou shalt not live, that I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies, and sleep in spite of thunder.” Slaughtering a family, who was loyal to Scotland, was no problem for Macbeth because his ambitions were over powering which lead to more death and negative outcomes.
Lastly, ambition can also bring you to your own demise. It can even cloud your judgment and thinking. Lady Macbeth was so overwhelmed and fed up with the things she had done that it drove her to suicide, and in the process she told of the crimes she had committed. In Act 5 Scene 1 lines she says, “Out, dammed spot! Out, I say! One, two: why, then 'tis time to do't. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call…