close
test_template

The Theme of Ambition in Macbeth, a Play by William Shakespeare

About this sample

About this sample

close

Words: 613 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Jan 4, 2019

Words: 613|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Jan 4, 2019

Ambition

With respect to physics, when a building is constructed too high and lacks a robust foundation, it is destined to topple. Such behavior corresponds to humans and their ambition. In the play, “Macbeth,” Shakespeare establishes the universal theme that too much ambition can lead to a great fall. He successfully does this by using the motif of Macbeth’s decline from being honorable to being evil. Shakespeare ties this element to Macbeth through the actions of others, and like a parasite, it evolves and consumes Macbeth. The master poet uses this motif as a scapegoat and successfully displays Macbeth’s tragic flaw of ambition.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Shakespeare manipulates the characters around Macbeth to kindle the flames of his ambition. When Macbeth and Banquo intrude upon the three witches’ symposium, the witches tell of the glories Macbeth will be blessed with. They say, “All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!...”(I.iii). Macbeth is befuddled by this comment. He questions the legitimacy of the witches and ignores them. Subsequent to this revelation, Ross confronts Macbeth and says, “he bade me from him, call thee thane of Cawdor… “(I.iii). Macbeth becomes ambivalent. He is perplexed by the witches’ accurate prophecy and honored that the king recognizes his achievements. This introduces the first stage of the Shakespeare’s motif when Macbeth is in his humble and honorable stage without a hint of corruption.

Macbeth soon progresses into a more corrupt person. Like a cancer evolving to a greater, more detrimental state, Shakespeare’s motif advances into its prime. The great Macbeth begins his deterioration when he kills king Duncan and says, “I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?” (II.ii). From this line, one can tell Macbeth is still naïve and pure. When he questions his wife about a noise, it shows he is still sane. The “noise”, in fact, is his conscience filling with anxiety for committing a sin that conflict with his morals and duties. However, this simple murder acts a sort of “gateway” sin. It builds Macbeth’s tolerance to the crimes he commits and eventually turns him into a notorious fiend. With repeated acts of sin, Macbeth’s moral compass points to an evil direction. Macbeth personally says, “I am in blood Step’d in so far that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o’er” (III.iv). This monumental quote explains Macbeth’s thought that since he has committed so many felonies, it wouldn’t make a different to repent or to maintain his streak of crimes. At this point, Macbeth’s hands are stained with the blood of others. He becomes an evil scum of the earth, which successfully completes Shakespeare’s motif.

Macbeth’s fall from his once honorable stature is Shakespeare’s way of depicting the tragic flaw of ambition. The second apparition tells Macbeth, “none of woman born Shall harm Macbeth.” (IV.i) Macbeth misinterprets this and believes he is virtually invincible. With the confidence of a god, Macbeth’s ambition soars exponentially. He then proceeds to fight against Malcolm, who is backed by the English army. Ultimately, Macbeth kills young Siward without hesitation and is eventually slayed later on. This scene lets Shakespeare show the reader just how corrupt Macbeth had become. His relentless ambition converted him to a darker person and this eventually became the cause of his demise.

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.

Honorable Macbeth was pushed to become evil. He grew cold with desires and it eventually led him to his death. Shakespeare shows how Macbeth changes from being a human to a heartless demon through his crimes. The poet also explains how ambition changed Macbeth into an evil being and finally killed him. This justifies Shakespeare’s message of how too much ambition can lead to one’s end.

Image of Dr. Charlotte Jacobson
This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

The Theme of Ambition in Macbeth, a Play by William Shakespeare. (2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 13, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-theme-of-ambition-in-macbeth-a-play-by-william-shakespeare/
“The Theme of Ambition in Macbeth, a Play by William Shakespeare.” GradesFixer, 03 Jan. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-theme-of-ambition-in-macbeth-a-play-by-william-shakespeare/
The Theme of Ambition in Macbeth, a Play by William Shakespeare. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-theme-of-ambition-in-macbeth-a-play-by-william-shakespeare/> [Accessed 13 Jul. 2024].
The Theme of Ambition in Macbeth, a Play by William Shakespeare [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Jan 03 [cited 2024 Jul 13]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-theme-of-ambition-in-macbeth-a-play-by-william-shakespeare/
copy
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled

close

Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

    close

    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts

    close

    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.

    close

    Thanks!

    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!

    clock-banner-side

    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    exit-popup-close
    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now