Macbeth: an Analytical of Ambition and Its Consequences

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About this sample


Words: 475 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Feb 7, 2024

Words: 475|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Feb 7, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Macbeth's Ambition
  3. Lady Macbeth's Influence
  4. Consequences of Unchecked Ambition
  5. Macbeth's Tragic End
  6. Conclusion


Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, is a tragic play that explores themes of ambition, power, and moral corruption. The protagonist, Macbeth, is initially portrayed as a brave and noble soldier, but his unchecked ambition leads him to commit heinous acts and ultimately brings about his own downfall. This essay will examine the role of ambition in Macbeth and highlight its consequences, illustrating the destructive nature of human desire.

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Macbeth's Ambition

Macbeth's ambition is evident from the beginning of the play. When he hears the prophecies of the witches, he is immediately consumed by the idea of becoming king. He states, "Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be / What thou art promised" (1.3.123-124). This ambition drives him to murder King Duncan and take the throne for himself. Macbeth's ambition not only corrupts his character, but it also leads him to commit further acts of violence and betrayal in order to maintain his power.

Lady Macbeth's Influence

Lady Macbeth plays a significant role in fueling Macbeth's ambition. She manipulates him and questions his masculinity in order to push him to commit the murder. Lady Macbeth says, "Art thou afeard / To be the same in thine own act and valor / As thou art in desire?" (1.7.41-43). Her ambition and desire for power corrupt Macbeth's judgment and influence his actions. Under her influence, Macbeth becomes more ruthless and morally bankrupt.

Consequences of Unchecked Ambition

The consequences of Macbeth's unchecked ambition are devastating. As he spirals further into darkness, Macbeth becomes plagued by guilt and paranoia. He sees the ghost of Banquo, whom he had killed, and exclaims, "Thou canst not say I did it; never shake / Thy gory locks at me" (3.4.50-51). Macbeth's ambition leads to the destruction of his relationships, as he betrays and murders those closest to him. The consequences of his actions also extend to the kingdom of Scotland, which suffers under his tyrannical rule.

Macbeth's Tragic End

Macbeth's ultimate downfall serves as a moral lesson about the dangers of unchecked ambition. Despite his initial success, Macbeth is ultimately defeated and killed. This highlights the idea that ambition, when unrestrained, can lead to one's own demise. The play also explores the concept of fate versus free will, as Macbeth's ambition drives him to make choices that seal his fate. Ultimately, Macbeth's tragic end serves as a cautionary tale about the destructive consequences of unchecked ambition.

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In Macbeth, Shakespeare portrays the detrimental effects of unchecked ambition through the character of Macbeth. His ambition corrupts his character, leads him to commit horrific acts, and ultimately brings about his own downfall. This play serves as a reminder of the destructive nature of human desire and the consequences it can have on individuals and society as a whole. The lessons of Macbeth are relevant even in contemporary society, where ambition continues to drive people to make questionable choices in pursuit of power and success.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Macbeth: An Analytical of Ambition and its Consequences. (2023, February 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 25, 2024, from
“Macbeth: An Analytical of Ambition and its Consequences.” GradesFixer, 06 Feb. 2023,
Macbeth: An Analytical of Ambition and its Consequences. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Feb. 2024].
Macbeth: An Analytical of Ambition and its Consequences [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Feb 06 [cited 2024 Feb 25]. Available from:
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