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Okonkwo's Ambition

Decent Essays
In the beginning, Okonkwo and Macbeth are depicted as masculine warriors; however, these manly traits are what drives the protagonists’ hazardous ambitions too much, leading to their downfall. Before Macbeth has been told he will become the king of Scotland, he is a trustworthy soldier who is not afraid to fight for his country. Therefore, when first introduced it is understood that he is “an upholder of society, the savior of Scotland” in the eyes of King Duncan which gives the reader the impression that he is the “good guy”(Frye). Shakespeare purposely portrays Macbeth as a bloody warrior in order to show his loyalty to his country and king. However, once Macbeth receives the prophecy that he will become king, his royal desires combine with…show more content…
He is a man who sees his purpose as a call to lead his community in order to make it the make it the best it can be, and the way he does this is by following social norms of Umuofia very closely. The society that Okonkwo lives in “appreciates personal success” as it pertains to the “well-being of the whole community”(Obiechina 41). Therefore, if Okonkwo sees something that will better his tribe, then he will do anything in his power to obtain that or accomplish what his leaders want. For example, Okonkwo took in Ikemefuna for years, treating him and thinking of him like a son. Although, when it came time for the tribe to sacrifice Ikemefuna, the leaders of Umuofia witnessed Okonkwo kill Ikemefuna because “he was afraid of being thought weak”(Achebe 61). Okonkwo will go to any extent in order to follow the social expectations of his tribe members. Because of this, he can not control himself when he sees his tribe’s traditions being thrown out because of the missionaries and no one is taking any action to change it. After Okonkwo tries to stand up for his community and is ignored, he hangs himself because he would rather die than witness his tribe be changed forever. The tragedy of Okonkwo “is caused not by his deviation from the norms of his society, but because he tries to adhere to these norms too completely”(Palmer
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