The Downside of Ambition Explored in Macbeth

1245 WordsJun 22, 20185 Pages
Macbeth is a play written by Shakespeare that is set in eleventh century Scotland. It details the life of the Macbeth, a brave and noble man who is described as ‘Bellona’s bridegroom’ (1.3.54), specifically the events after he meets three supernatural creatures who tell him about his fate. The reader should see Macbeth as a great man whose ambition for security leads to his downfall. Ambitions and manipulation from his wife cause him to commit Duncan’s murder, but this particular murder does not relate to Macbeth’s downfall. This man’s ambition for the crown turns into ambition for security after he becomes king, causing him to kill more to keep his unrightful kingship safe. There are a lot of supernatural occurrences in this play, but…show more content…
Macbeth fears the Witches put a ‘fruitless crown [on his head] and put a barren sceptre in [his] gripe’ (3.1.62-63); he fears that he murdered the Duncan, ‘put rancours in the vessel of [his peace]’ (3.1.68) and gave his soul to the devil just for Banquo’s children. Out of his need for security, Macbeth decides to kill Banquo and Fleance to ensure the prophecy will not come true. The same can be applied to the planned murder of Macduff. Even though ‘none of woman born shall harm Macbeth’ (4.1.79-80), Macbeth decides to act on the earlier apparition of ‘beware Macduff’ (4.1.70) and kill Macduff because he is deemed a threat. Additionally, after the murder of Duncan, Lady Macbeth is no longer Macbeth’s ‘dearest partner of greatness’ (1.5.10) as she was before. Macbeth does not even tell her about his plan to murder Banquo; he keeps everything to himself, perhaps because he is in a world created by insecurities. The Witches’ words have a larger influence on Macbeth during the later part of the play only because they are manipulated by Macbeth to bear more meaning to him. Macbeth ‘demand[ed]’ the apparitions. The Witches did not use their powers to force Macbeth to murder, they merely show him ‘what [he] asked [of them]’ (4.1.60). Macbeth is consciously taking the three apparitions and using them to fit his plans of ridding his kingdom of threats to the crown. The Witches are not influencing Macbeth when decided to ‘give th’edge o’th’sword to

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