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The Power and Ambition in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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Words: 636 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

Words: 636|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Mar 18, 2021

A famous writer once said 'For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.' (James 3:16, bible) Desire, determination and power will corrupt absolutely. Shakespeare invites readers to the kingdom in Scotland to experience royalty at its finest. Through the eyes of a brave Protagonist Scottish nobleman known as Macbeth, rises as a soldier and promising future leader whose megalomaniacal ambition led to his tragic downfall. Tempted with an overflow of ambition he kills and showing that he will do anything to gain power. This essay analyzes how, in Macbeth, William Shakespeare uses the concept of ambition to explore its impact on how this motivates Macbeth and his wife to devise a plan to kill for the throne, as well as to explore how ambition can be destructive.

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The playwright starts with Macbeth with him having heard the prophecies that promised him power, he says “Two truths are told. As happy prologues to the swelling act. Of the imperial theme” as he recites the line witches’ prophecy. He immediately starts to wonder whether this means that their third prophecy will also be true. The eagerness with which he turns to this idea suggests that he finds the possibility appealing, As Macbeth goes in and out of reality and goes to disoriented state as time goes by throughout act 1 and 2. While he goes under the influence of his own wife inserting ill ideas he realizes that he would have to commit a terrible and violent act in order to achieve the position. As mocks him ns says “Thou wouldst be great Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it”. Lady Macbeth knows what Macbeth is capable of, she figures that he will do anything to let his ambition to escape into reality, to get what he wants power. He changes from being rational level headed man to being a questionable. Scotland is immersed in more chaos by Macbeth’s hunger for supremacy, his acknowledgement of his crimes, and by further disturbance in the human order.

Power has the ability to be linked to greatness, yet at the same time it’s able to destroy a person's nature. In the play Macbeth becomes into the position of power, there definition of control alters, controlling and manipulating characters in the book becomes easier over time deteriorating his conscience, being Macbeth, the protagonist becomes corrupt through the power he gains, this play is an excellent example of someone starts of like Macbeth and has no motive or reasoning to want to crave power, further on in the play he does terrible unspeakable things to gain authority and power. Power tends to work as benefit to their desires what happens when it works against them.

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“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” (John Dalberg-Acton) A strong desire and determination to succeed the wrong way can lead to corruption. Throughout the play Macbeth is controlled by his own vivid imagination. Due to his conscience he sees a vision of a dagger, ghost of Banquo and even from a “murders sleep”, his constant drive of ambition and his lust of power drives him into spiraling downfall. As he realizes that his strive for power is over he says “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day. To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools. The way to dusty death.” Macbeth seems to realize in this speech the cost of his unchecked ambition. But it is too late: There is no reversing the consequences of his evil opportunism. Then it transfers to his own wife, it affects her so much as she slowly vanishes from the play. Because of murders sleep she slowly vanishes from reality to her own scarce imagination and dies from suicide.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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The Power And Ambition In Macbeth By William Shakespeare. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 21, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-power-and-ambition-in-macbeth-by-william-shakespeare/
“The Power And Ambition In Macbeth By William Shakespeare.” GradesFixer, 18 Mar. 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-power-and-ambition-in-macbeth-by-william-shakespeare/
The Power And Ambition In Macbeth By William Shakespeare. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-power-and-ambition-in-macbeth-by-william-shakespeare/> [Accessed 21 Jun. 2024].
The Power And Ambition In Macbeth By William Shakespeare [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Mar 18 [cited 2024 Jun 21]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-power-and-ambition-in-macbeth-by-william-shakespeare/
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