Greed and Power in Macbeth

Topics: Macbeth, Murder, Macbeth of Scotland Pages: 2 (702 words) Published: May 13, 2013
Macbeth Essay
Macbeth’s ambition is the sole cause of the whole tragedy. Do you agree? From reading the novel Macbeth it is evident that Macbeth’s ambition is one of the sole causes of the whole tragedy but not the only sole cause. Though he has thought about murdering Duncan, his only motive for murdering Duncan is “vaulting ambition” which shows that without the persuasions of his wife the whole tragedy would have never happened. Lady Macbeth often seems to control Macbeth by manipulating him or by direct order. Her plans work with remarkable effectiveness, overriding all his objections and questioning his manhood when he hesitates to murder, until he feels he has to commit murder to prove himself. It is her deep-seated ambition, rather than her husband’s that ultimately propels the plot of the play by goading Macbeth to murder Duncan. The Witches prophecy is also a sole cause in the tragedy because it fuels Macbeth’s ambition and gives him an overwhelming desire for power. We first hear of Macbeth as a brave and capable warrior (from the Bloody Captain). However after meeting with the witches we can see that he has consuming ambition and a tendency to self-doubt. This is shown after he is prophesised to be King by the Three Witches. The prediction that he is going to be King brings him great joy but also inner turmoil as he imagines himself killing Duncan. Macbeth’s ambition is powerful and he does not need any help coming up with the idea of murdering Duncan, but it seems unlikely that he would have committed the murder without his wife’s powerful taunts and persuasions. Before he kills Duncan, Macbeth is plagued by worry and almost aborts the crime. It takes Lady Macbeth’s steely sense of purpose to push him into the deed. However desperate he is for that crown he would not have murdered Duncan. This suggests that unlike Lady Macbeth, he has a conscience. And this comes to trouble him along with uncontrollable guilt after murdering Duncan. Lady Macbeth...
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