The Consequences of Ambition|
April, 16 2012|
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itselfAnd falls on th' other.|
One of the primary forces in Shakespeare’s most compact and sublime tragedy, Macbeth is the drive of reckless ambition in the title character and the consequences that follow such impactful, unchecked emotions. This is expressed very transparently in Macbeth’s character. It is known from the very beginning that Macbeth is highly ambitious, though he is a man of morals and commits the heinous acts described in the beginning of the play solely the sake of duty. The integrity of his purpose is first compromised when the Three Witches reveal their prophecy to him. He ponders whether or not the title of King will simply arrive to him, or he must do something dark to obtain it. Before his emotions overtook him, Macbeth was a true Scotsman, loyal to his country and King, and “full o' the milk of human kindness,” according to Lady Macbeth. As the play progresses, his morals are overpowered by his ambition. The audience is treated to a plethora of dramatic irony to truly help how much Macbeth’s character has changed. In his soliloquy of Act 1 scene 7, Macbeth ponders to himself whether or not to kill Duncan and assume his title, thus fulfilling the prophecy delivered by the Three Witches. We clearly see his ambition has overcome neither his conscience nor his reason just yet. He maintains a cool and level head He states if the whole affair would be over as soon as the deed was done; it would be wise to do it quickly. He was even willing to sacrifice his soul and afterlife for the sake for the sake of kingship, but such a task begets repercussions in this world. If only the assassination would encompass and put an end to all consequences, it would be the end to all of his worries. Macbeth realizes such a deed would not only fail to sweep aside consequences, but breed several new ones. He fears his own...