The Role of Ambition in' Macbeth'

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The role of ambition in Macbeth The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare recounts Macbeth's meteoric rise as a soldier and promising future leader whose megalomaniacal ambition led to his tragic downfall. In addition to Macbeth's ambitions, which initially enable him to be strong leader and soldier, he is influenced heavily by his wife, Lady Macbeth, and the three witches that prophesize his ascent to the throne, as well as warn him of his eventual demise. It can be argued that it is Macbeth's ambition that allows him to succeed in his endeavors, however the goals to which he is working toward influence the results of his hard work. Macbeth's ambitions help him to become a war hero, and as his goals change, his ambitions drive him to become a tyrannical villain. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth and Banquo, Macbeth's friend and a sergeant in King Duncan's army, are hailed as heroes in helping to defeat Macdonwald who led the allied forces of Norway and Ireland against Scotland. The Sergeant exalts Macbeth's prowess and states, For brave Macbeth--well he deserves that name-- Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel, Which smoked with bloody execution, Like valour's minion carved out his passage Till he faced the slave; Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him, Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps, And fix'd his head upon our battlements. (Shakespeare, n.d., 1.2.35-42) The Sergeant continues to describe the duo's valor, "As
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