The Power Ambition Has Over Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Play

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 494 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Nov 8, 2021

Words: 494|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Nov 8, 2021

Macbeth's character trait of ambition represents a universal human trait because Macbeth’s greatest desire was to become King, just like many of us regular people have our own ambitions and aspirations. However, the only difference is, Macbeth did everything and anything possible to become king, which he valued much higher than the multiple cold-blooded murders of innocent souls he performed, and his eventual fall to insanity.

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To begin with, Macbeth is ambitious because he went to paramount lengths for that one thing he so much desired, which was to be King of Scotland. For example, Macbeth falls into the desperation of listening to witches, who are notorious for being deceiving and devious. In the text, Macbeth says, 'This supernatural soliciting Cannot be ill, cannot be good. If ill, Why hath it given me earnest of success, Commencing in a truth? I am Thane of Cawdor”. To elaborate, Macbeth is at first hesitant but he reasons with himself that if it was the deed was in fact so bad, why were good things happening to him, therefore he gives in to his ambition and listens to the witches, which the reader knows eventually does not end well.

To add on, Macbeth’s ambition can be seen in all the wrongdoings he executed toward his own community and people who trusted him who falsely idolized him as a saint. In particular, he commits the ultimate crime of regicide which is to kill the beloved king. Macbeth states, “ go, and it is done. The bell invites me. Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell That summons thee to heaven or to hell”. Consequently, the reader can note that this is one of the first events where Macbeth starts to lose his humanity and sanity. Soon to be, King Macbeth, kills Duncan and appears to have no remorse, as of now.

Furthermore, the reader can notice Macbeth’s trait of ambition drives him to a psychopath-like state of mind. For instance, when his soulmate, Lady Macbeth, dies of a mental health issue, he is completely unfazed by it. Macbeth remarks, “Macbeth: She should have died hereafter; There would have been a time for such a word”. Therefore, the reader can observe how a normal human being would be absolutely shattered and heartbroken that their partner in life has just died. Macbeth couldn’t care less.

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To tie together all the points given, it can be said Macbeth lets ambition get the best of him and press him to take actions which are irrational to his initial character such as even giving the witches the time of day, killing someone he loved and admired greatly in King Duncan, and completely losing his senses to the point where he has no guilt or shame. The reader can extract the idea that an emotion like ambition can be very powerful and can lead you to act upon things which may not be morally correct and can snowball into irreversible damages and consequences, just like Macbeth. 

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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The Power Ambition Has Over Macbeth In Shakespeare’s Play. (2021, November 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2024, from
“The Power Ambition Has Over Macbeth In Shakespeare’s Play.” GradesFixer, 10 Nov. 2021,
The Power Ambition Has Over Macbeth In Shakespeare’s Play. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 May 2024].
The Power Ambition Has Over Macbeth In Shakespeare’s Play [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Nov 10 [cited 2024 May 28]. Available from:
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