Lady Macbeth, the Ambition behind the King
One’s eagerness to carry out deeds with the aim of achieving a goal is often referred to as ambition, and is an intrinsic component to William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In the play, Lady Macbeth is the drive behind her husband; she fuels the flame which The Weird Sisters did in Macbeth ignite. Throughout the course of the play Lady Macbeth’s true vindictive character is exposed as she grows more and more malicious. In The Tragedy of Macbeth Shakespeare’s use of Lady Macbeth’s soliloquies redefines ambition to pertain solely to the driving force in committing acts of malevolence.
The malice, which in Lady Macbeth’s heart does live, is first introduced to the audience in her soliloquy. Upon receiving the letter from her absent husband, Lady Macbeth speaks of his frailty; “Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be / What thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature; / It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness / To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great. / Art not without ambition, but without / The illness should attend it” (Macbeth 1. 5. 15-20). She sees that Macbeth has the ambition to become what he has been foretold; she worries however that he lacks the cupidity needed to carry out the deed. Lady Macbeth continues on by saying, “Hie thee hither, / That I may pour my spirits in thine ear, /And chastise with the valor of my tongue / All that impedes thee from the golden round, / Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem / To have thee crowned withal” (Macbeth 1. 5. 28-33). She hopes her husband will return swiftly, as she knows she must convince him to pursue the crown; it is his fate, but he has become feeble by his humanity. Shakespeare continues the growth of Lady Macbeth’s internal tension as she continues with another jeremiad, “Come, you spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, / And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full / Of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood, / Stop up th’access...
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