“Shakespeare’s Macbeth invites us to look into the world of a man driven on by ruthless ambition and tortured by regret” Write a response to this view of the play, support the points you make with detailed reference to the text.
I somewhat agree with the view above about the Shakespearean play Macbeth but not completely as I do not feel Macbeth is driven on by ruthless ambition. It is my view that it would be more apt to describe Macbeth as a man driven on by a woman with ruthless ambition resulting in him falling further and further into the depths of paranoia and developing his own ruthless streak. However I do fully agree that Macbeth is tortured by regret and haunted by guilt following his decent into tyranny. We get the first glance of ambitious Macbeth when he meets “the weird sisters” and they reveal their prediction to him that he shall be “thane of Glamis”, “thane of Cawdor” and “shalt be king here after”. After hearing this news Macbeth writes to his “dearest partner of greatness”, Lady Macbeth , to tell her “thou mightst not loose the dues of rejoicing by being ignorant of what greatness is promised thee”. There is no doubt that Macbeth is an ambitious man, we see this when he states “stars hide your fires, let not light see my black and deep desires”, but is his ambition really ruthless or is he just goaded by a ruthless woman? Behind every great man, there stands a great woman and we get the first impression of Lady Macbeth being the ruthless driving force behind Macbeth’s ambition in Act 1 Secene 5 as she worries that Macbeth is is too weak and soft to do such a dark “deed” as killing the king. She admits “Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way”. She herself acknowledges his ambition but notes that he is without the ruthless drive that usually accompanies it in this scene commenting “Thou wouldst be great; Art not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it”. It is clear on...
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