Ambition Essay on Macbeth

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Updated: Nov 30, 2023
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Ambition Essay on Macbeth

This essay will discuss the theme of ambition in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” analyzing how ambition drives the characters’ actions and the play’s tragic outcome. You can also find more related free essay samples at PapersOwl about Ambition.

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Macbeth, by nature, is an ambitious and passionate person which is what a great leader entails but when that ambition is directed towards greed and power, another side of Macbeth begins to surface. A side that shows the deterioration of Macbeth as a character. Various events and people in the play influenced Macbeths decision making and in turn lead to his character change.

The prophecies brought by the three witches reveals Macbeths curiosity which consumes his thoughts when the first prediction, that Macbeth shall be “Thane of Cawdor”, is fulfilled.

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These prophecies fed Macbeths desire for kingly power and this urged him on to commit the murder of Duncan in order to take his place as king, “My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, shakes so my single state of man”. The predictions take control over Macbeths mind as he is uncertain of whether or not they mean well, “this supernatural soliciting cannot be ill; cannot be good” he constantly questions that if it is good then “why do I yield to that suggestion whose horrid image do unfix my hair”. Macbeths thirst for power makes him take action in the cruellest of ways which ultimately turns him into a killer.

Lady Macbeth uses manipulation to persuade Macbeth into doing whatever she needs him to do, one of those things is murdering Duncan. Macbeth comes to the conclusion that he no longer wants to kill Duncan and they “will proceed no further in this business”. Unfortunately for him, he has one weakness, Lady Macbeth and her manipulative ways. She pushes him to commit the murder of Duncan by questioning Macbeths honour as a man and his love for her by saying that “from this time such I account thy love” and “art thou afeard to be the same in thine own act of valour as thou art desire?” As soon as Macbeth gives in, it is evident that he is one who holds great pride in his manhood and honour as well as his love and obedience to Lady Macbeth.

Over the course of the play and after the various events that took place in Macbeths life, the deterioration was clearly visible from the moment when he starts to hallucinate after the murder of Banquo took place. Macbeths guilt takes over as he hallucinates, he sees Banquo’s ghost before him and he start to rage and make a scene about it. At this point, his mental state is at its lowest and the deterioration begins.

Macbeth started out as the brave and noble man on the battle field as well as a loyal member of the royal team but his ambitions got a hold of him when his character was tested through various ways throughout the play. By the end of the play, Macbeth has completely transformed into someone who solves every problem with a trail of blood to follow.

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Ambition Essay on Macbeth. (2021, Jan 15). Retrieved from