Ambition As Destructive Trait In Macbeth By Shakespeare
Shakespeare uses ambition in ‘Macbeth’ as a destructive trait, that follows the religious beliefs of the Elizabethan era; that god gave you your place on earth, and an attempt to desire or upstage this status was a direct act against him (Divine Order, 2011). Therefore, Shakespeare uses ambition as a tragic flaw of the main protagonists (Macbeth and Lady Macbeth), it is the source of their, and over 12 characters deaths in the play (eNotes, 2019).
Macbeth monologues his desire to “jump the life to come” (Act 1, Scene 7, No Fear Shakespeare). The verb “jump” suggests an overwhelming desire to leap forth, unrestricted, into the supposed power and good times that await for him. The irony of this is shown in the following scenes of the play, as Macbeth’s ambition becomes the cause of his eventual downfall; the audience responds to the end of Macbeth’s tyrannical rule with relief, as the noble Malcolm restores order to Scotland. The notion of a “jump” also suggests to Macbeth’s intention to cheat his way through the hierarchy, not only by killing the king but by deception: framing Duncan’s sons to ensure his own coronation – as historically in Scotland, the heir was chosen and not automatically the oldest son of the current Monarch. However, Macbeth is not historically accurate as the play was based off Holinshed’s Chronicles (Shakespeare Nowheres, 2002).
Shakespeare uses imagery relating to the bible or Christ to warn the audience of how dangerous Macbeth’s ambition will become. The metaphor of the “poison’d chalice” (Act 1, Scene 7, No Fear Shakespeare) renders the audience horrified as they realise the magnitude of disrespecting a sacred object. This calls attention to the widespread belief in the Late Renaissance era in divine order, and hence killing the king would not only be a high treason, but a betrayal of God (Divine Order, 2011). This image effectively demonstrates the potentially large scale violence that the impossible to satisfy Ambition can bring, foreshadowing the other brutal murders Macbeth organises in the following scenes.
Macbeth ends his monologue with a warning to himself not to allow the ambition to overwhelm him, by describing an image of a horseman attempting to mount his horse, but is too eager and falls regardless: “o’erleaps itself” (Act 1, Scene 7, No Fear Shakespeare) strongly foreshadows the tragic hero’s own demise in the play. Macbeth fails to pay attention to his own warning, instead becoming excessively proud, and self admiring. However, o’erleap could be interpreted as a comedic act of misjudgement, very similar to Mcbeth’s almost laughable ignorance of his approaching death in Act 5.
Lady Macbeth is portrayed as an ambitious woman with immoral intentions. She calls upon the spirits to fill her “toe-top full of direst cruelty” (Act 1, Scene 5, No Fear Shakespeare), connecting the separation between the human and paranormal realms in the play. Her impossible to satisfy lust for power is evident in her use of “toe-top” (Act 1, Scene 5), she speaks iambic pentameter in her speech as well, suggesting to the audience that she feels the cruelty inside her almost overflowing – to the point where a change of the smallest proportions could be motivation enough for her to act on her desires, sending her “cruelty” (Act 1, Scene 5) spilling over into the world around her and demonstrating itself in the murder of Duncan. This comes on the messenger informing Lady Macbeth that she will play hostess to Duncan that very night, creating great tension as the audience realises her intention to kill the King.
In contrast, ambition begins to appear as a negative theme for the tragic couple as their paranoia sets in. Lady Macbeth’s helpless cries of “out, out, damned spot!” (Act 5, Scene 1, No Fear Shakespeare) reflect her overwhelming regret – she feels as though the “blood on her hands” (Act 5, Scene 1, No Fear Shakespeare) is noticeable to those around her, and she spends her days scrubbing her hands anxiously, signalling to the audience that she is in a state of hallucination.
Macbeth’s sending of a third murderer to ensure the homicide of Banquo and Fleance has been carried out suggests that Macbeth is brutal in his demands, and wants to rest in the knowledge that there is no threat to his throne. Alternatively, it could imply that he could not fully trust the first two assassins – which shows deep irony, as Macbeth himself is the one who shouldn’t be trusted.
Overall, ambition in the case of these two tragic protagonists eventually presents upon them the opposite way of what they had hoped; instead of becoming King and Queen of Scotland, both are dead and the audience is left to reflect on Macbeth’s moral message: that selfish ambition ultimately leads to destruction.
Macbeth, a play written by William Shakespeare follows the journey to kingship by Macbeth, a scottish nobleman and knight turned Thane of Cowdor. Macbeth himself is loyal and a great companion however, his foreshadowed downfall and impending doom is influenced by the corruption of power, the relationship between cruelty and masculinity as well the heavy impact of an overall violent and unstable world,all of which they proclaim Macbeth as a future king. The idea of a violent and unstable world...
In the play, Macbeth, Macbeth himself wanted nothing more than power. He was so obsessed with power that he would go as far as committing murder to make sure that no one would get in the way of him and his throne. Throughout the play, Macbeth showed many symptoms of various mental health disorders. This proved that Macbeth committed these murders and acted irrationally because of the disorders he suffered from. This essay will go into detail about the specific...
Introduction The play ‘Macbeth’ was written by one of the world’s greatest writer’s ‘William Shakespeare’. It is recognised as one of the most tragic stories that has ever been written. He uses numerous characters to develop the downfall of Macbeth. Characters such as Lady Macbeth is one of the most significant protagonists in the play as she manipulated Macbeth to find his quest in becoming the king. Lady Macbeth portrays herself as a hubris character who believed that nothing could...
Using the characters, ambition is used strongly throughout both Macbeth and The Tell Tale Heart. Macbeth, through his ambition, goes from being a dedicated and honourable soldier to being a murderer and traitor. The first performance of Macbeth was in 1623 and it was written in 1606. The Tell Tale Heart was released in 1843. There are several quotes explaining the ambitions of the characters. You can also discover ambition by looking in quotations for symbolism, foreshadowing, repetition, metaphors, allusion...
Is that how you want to end up? With that being the last thing you feel. Your neck being snapped then your head being put on a stick, celebrated and a sign of victory. Starting as a noble soldier then changing to an over-ambitious leader on a bloody throne. I don’t think so, but who would you blame for ending up like this, for your tragic DOWNFALL? In Macbeth, a tragedy written by William Shakespeare. Macbeth is shown as a...
Macbeth, once an honorable character, loyal to his kings and friends. Always praised by everyone around him because of his positive demeanour. However, as the play continues, Macbeth soon falls victim to the witches’ prediction and suffers from his fatal flaw which is the desire for power and position. Macbeth murders his King who sees Macbeth as a loyal soldier and even bestows the title Thane of Cawdor on him, but because of his striving ambition, he finds himself trapped...
Macbeth, one of the most famous plays written by the iconic playwright William Shakespeare takes mainly place in 11th-century Scotland and tells the story of a soldier that after being told by three witches that he would become king becomes consumed by ambition causing him to commit crimes such as murder. His drive became extremely strong, and he was up to do everything possible to get to the throne of Scotland. This character even became a murderer joined by his...
Guilt is a profound emotion that is uniquely characterized by the complex human nature of individuals and their perspectives. William Shakespeare’s eponymous text Macbeth, written in 1606 embodies prominent values as it demonstrates the uprise of his status and his eventual downfall. The thematic concern of guilt molds life in the text and depicts a significant aspect of Macbeth’s life to increase the understanding of life during the Elizabethan Era. Shakespeare demonstrated that out of all the virtues and excellence...
The literary archetypal theme of paranoia is used precisely and is strongly featured in “The tragedy of Macbeth”, written in 1606 by William Shakespeare. Such parallel themes are established in Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “Tell-Tale Heart”, written in 1843; corresponding to ‘Macbeth’ by incorporating similar ideas. In both instances, the psychological consequences of paranoia take over the protagonist with the inevitable drive to murder, which then goes on to fuel their paranoia after committing the murders. Within these themes...
01 / 09
Fair Use Policy
EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.