Every individual seeks success and to fulfill their ambition, which can impact their lives in a negative or positive way depending on whether they allow their morals to prevail or not. Often, ambition takes a negative toll on one’s being whether they initially see it or not. If an individual has an ambition or goal, sometimes they will stop at nothing to reach it. In pursuing ambition in this way people often sacrifice things in the process, such as their wellbeing and the relationships around them. In the famous play, Macbeth, Shakespeare develops these ideas through the deceitfully corrupt tyrant Macbeth. The constant drive of an overpowering ambition causes his morals to deteriorate, and his ability to make rational and noble decisions is tainted by his wife’s bad intentions and her poor capability of aiming for a positive outcome. Eventually these traits began to affect the lives of the people around him in a negative way. Furthermore, when one’s mind is driven purely by ambition, due to the manipulation of a trusted loved one, it can have a detrimentally negative effect on one’s mentality by blinding them to their destruction, ultimately resulting in the deterioration of one’s mind and relationships.
Macbeth is a man of credible standing, and is known to be a devoted follower to the king, and a valiant soldier of Scotland. He is widely driven by his morals, which allow him to make level-headed decisions, yet upon the sudden approach of the three witches, their prophecies begin to prevail on his mental state, and strike him with a wind of ambition. The witches compelling words intrigue Macbeth, and he endeavours to question more about their credibility, yet when appointed as Thane of Cawdor, it becomes apparent that the prophecies are no hoax. They had predicted this outcome. Being a man with control over his ambitions, the prophecy for him to become king holds no gravity for he knows to obtain that position as king, would involve sinful actions, and he quickly dismisses the idea. Macbeth: [Aside] “If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir.” It only takes the words of one manipulative character to push him to the brink of ambition. Macbeth’s character is constantly developing and his regret diminishes immensely throughout the play. The reader senses that Macbeth is a loyal, trustworthy and honest man whereas nearing the end, he is shown to be a cold man who feels no guilt. This being one of his most powerful traits, he uses it against his peers, twisting their thoughts by using his integrity as a tool to destroy their minds and even lives. Lady Macbeth’s ambition was to keep manipulating her husband into committing crimes in order to live her pampered life aside the king. Ultimately he succumbed to her demands in killing King Duncan.
Lady Macbeth’s ambitions became her reality in watching her husband murder King Duncan. The wife of the murderer pushed Macbeth to kill the King in order for her to live a noble and lavish life. In expressing his resentment for committing such a crime, he is forced to follow his ambitions of becoming the King. In doing so, he faces the downfall of the accumulating corruptness on his own mind. Folowing the killing of King Duncan, Macbeth feels that his crown is in jeoprady and proceeds to take action by hiring assasins to assist in the murder of Banquo, killing him purely out of fear. “Murders have been performed, too terrible for the ear. The time has been that, when the brains were out, the man would die, with twenty mortal murders on their crowns and push us from our stools. This is more strange than such a murder is” Macbeth becomes mentally corrupt and incapable of making sound decisions. Proceeding the death of the two powerful men, Macbeth becomes consumed by villainy and his ambitions. After the witches told Macbeth to “beware Macduff”, Macbeth plans the murder of Macduffs family in hope that it would scare away Macduff from ever coming after him and his wife. As Macbeth is still in hope of becoming King, his ambition still lies to use murder as a tool to deal with his mental instabilty. This act shows how consumed he has become with villainy, killing women and children which is widely regarded as a huge sin, and ultimately makes him look utterly and completely evil.
In conclusion, the decisions one makes based only on their ambition, rather than their morals, have a detrimental impact on the lives of others and one’s own mental state. Throughout the play Macbeth, the reader is shown through many examples of the deterioration of an individual’s morals because of an overpowering sense of ambition, the brutal actions at the expense of others as a consequence of that ambition, and the toll that committing these inhuman acts eventually takes on that individual.