Essay on Ambition in Macbeth

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In the play of “Macbeth”, Shakespeare gradually and effectively deepens our understanding of the themes and most importantly the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The main theme of Macbeth is ambition, and how it compels the main characters to pursue it. The antagonists of the play are the three witches, who symbolise the theme appearance and reality. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s relation is an irony throughout the play, as most of their relation is based on greed and power. This is different from most of Shakespeare’s other plays, which are mostly based on romance and trust. There is also guilt that leads Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to the final consequences of the play. As the progresses, the constant changes in Macbeth and Lady …show more content…
The witches proclaim a prophecy to Macbeth, in which he will be the Thane of Glamis then the Thane of Cawdor then become a king in the near future. This startles Macbeth as most turns out to be true but he also starts hoping that the prophecy comes true. However, when Macbeth goes to meet King Duncan, he discovers that Malcolm will be Duncan’s heir, and not him. At this point, Macbeth’s intentions turn evil, which he feels guilty about:
“Stars, hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires.”
The language Shakespeare uses here gives us an insight that evil acts are done in the dark, therefore Macbeth does not want the “stars” light to shine upon his dark side and reveal his “deep desires”. After leaving King Duncan’s castle, Macbeth goes home and tells his wife about King Duncan arriving at their place. Lady Macbeth, knowing the prophecy, decides to help Macbeth fulfil his ambition by planning Duncan’s death. However, Macbeth struggles with his conscience before “this night’s great business”. He is in a dilemma on whether he should take advantage of Duncan’s arrival and fulfil his ambition or not:
“ But in these cases we still have judgement here, that we but teach bloody instructions, which being taught return to plague th’inventor.”
At this point, Shakespeare has created a dilemma for Macbeth, as Macbeth is in doubt of what he should do. He is aware that what goes

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