The Influence of Ambitions in Macbeth

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Words: 572 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2019

Words: 572|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2019

Macbeth was a brave Scottish men but the prophecy of the witches have ruin his life. Consumed by the ambitious and the action of his wife Lady Macbeth, make Macbeth murder king Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself. Macbeth was wracked with Guilt and regrets.

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The prophecies which were told by the witches were one of the reasons which contributed to the degradation of his character. In (1.2.15)” all hail Macbeth that shalt be king hereafter”. If it had not been for the witches telling him that he was to be Thane of Cawdor, Thane of Glamis, and king of Scotland, Macbeth would still be his ordinary self. As a result of the prophecies, this aroused Macbeth's curiosity of how he could be King of Scotland. “My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, shakes so my single state of man that function is smothered in surmise and nothing is but what is not”. After the weird sisters predict that Macbeth will be king, his thoughts turn to "murder," which the sisters have said nothing about but Macbeth jump to conclusion. As the play progresses, Macbeth beginning to slowly rely on the Three witches.

The influence of Macbeth's wife, Lady Macbeth also contributed to his degeneration of character. Lady Macbeth's character in the beginning reveals that she is lovable . In (1.5.15-20)” Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be what thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o'th' milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great, art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it”.

After reading the letter from her husband (which recounts the witches prophecy), Lady Macbeth's thoughts immediately turn to murder. When Lady Macbeth was ready to kill King Duncan herself. In (2.2.49)”had he not resembled my father as he slept, I had done’t”. It showed that Lady Macbeth could not murder King Duncan because he reminded her of her father. This proves that Lady Macbeth wanted Macbeth to kill Duncan himself. After Macbeth had killed King Duncan, he later regrets on his wrong doing. Macbeth's first murder was a trying experience for him, however after the first murder, killing seemed to be the only solution to maintain his reign of the people of Scotland. Therefore, it was Lady Macbeth who introduced the concept of murder to Macbeth.

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Macbeth’s ambition also influenced his declining character. However, Macbeth ambition has not been strong enough to carry the motive to kill King Duncan. It was also Lady Macbeth's who influenced him in (1.5)” come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty”. If not for Lady Macbeth ambition Macbeth would not have been intensified enough to drive him to obtain and maintain his title of king Scotland no matter what it took, even if it meant murdering. This new character of Macbeth contained greed, violence and he showed this when he kill King Duncan. In (2.2.4)” will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green on red.” In conclusion, the prophecies given to him by the witches, Lady Macbeth influence and plan, and his deepen ambition, all contributed greatly to his degeneration of character which resulted his downfall. Therefore Macbeth character displays strong signs of tragic hero.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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The influence of ambitions in Macbeth. (2019, February 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2024, from
“The influence of ambitions in Macbeth.” GradesFixer, 11 Feb. 2019,
The influence of ambitions in Macbeth. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 May 2024].
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