Essay about The Tragedy of Ambition in Shakespeare's Macbeth

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The Tragedy of Ambition in Macbeth

Shakespeare's tragic play, Macbeth, shares common themes with many other stories and actual events. Many scandals, both historic and current, can be linked to greed, ambition, and abuse of power. Typically, the key figures are motivated by, and are inevitably destroyed by, ambition. This is also the case in Macbeth, where ambition leads to the downfall of the once great character, Macbeth.

William Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth, is a play about a man's ambition to become king. Since the first part of the witches' prophecy, "All hail Macbeth! Thane of Glamis"(I.i.52-53)! was already a fact, and the second part was fulfilled almost as soon as the witches pronounced it, "All hail
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Macbeth strongly believes the witches' words. Also, the apparitions who are called by the witches influence Macbeth by making him believe that he is invincible, "rebellion's head, rise never, till the wood/ of Birnam rise, and our high- placed Macbeth/ shall live the lease of nature, pay his breath/ to time, and mortal custom"(I.iii.112-115).

Lady Macbeth also influences Macbeth's ambition,"Hie thee hither, / that I may pour my spirits in thine ear, / and chastise with the valour of my tongue/ all that impedes thee from the golden round, / which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem/ to have thee crown'd withal" (I.v.26-31). Lady Macbeth tries to influence him to kill Duncan. She says, "Art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it (I.v.19-20) meaning that Macbeth is not without ambition, but he lacks the ruthlessness that is needed to murder Duncan.

When Macbeth decides not to continue with their plan to murder Duncan, his wife urges him to act on his desires or, she argues, he will think of himself as a coward. She says," Art thou afeard/ To be the same in thine own act and valour/ As thou art in desire" (I.vii.44-46)? Lady Macbeth then makes sure he will perform the deed by taking an active

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