In the play, Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, it is evident that ambition plays a very important role in the play. Ambition is when someone has a strong desire for success, achievement, or a goal. It is a motivating factor that drives one towards success. This is a big part of this specific play. Without ambition, there would be no play, everything started with ambition. Ambition is important to the play because throughout the play Macbeth does everything to secure his position on the throne. Also Lady Macbeth drives Macbeth to action to kill King Duncan. The witches also play on Macbeth’s ambition. Furthermore, Macduff has ambition to kill Macbeth after Macbeth murdered his family and lastly, each murder in the play, has part of ambition.
Firstly, it is clear that ambition is important to the Macbeth play because throughout most of the play, Macbeth does everything to protect his position on the throne. This demonstrates ambition because Macbeth is willing to do anything to protect his power. “ …For mine own good/ All causes shall give way; I am in blood/ Stepp’d in so far, that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o’er.” (3, 4, 166-169) As this quote demonstrates Macbeth, suggests that once you murder you cannot stop, hence the reason it is so easy from him to continue to murder. Macbeth became power-hungry, which drove him to do anything, to keep any power he had. Macbeth sent assassins to kill Banquo, a dear friend of his, because he was a so called threat. Even though Banquo was the man who would never become king, but his kids would. Macbeth shows fear in this situation, because he feels that Banquo is a threat to his throne, which led to Banquo being murdered. This proves ambition because he had the drive to take action on a situation where he felt threatened. He has a goal to keep his throne and is not planning on giving it up anytime soon. This is important because it gives emphasis on the fact that Macbeth’s ambition is strong and will do anything to overcome and control the throne. In addition, Macbeth goes down fighting; this shows ambition because he is motivated to keep his power. He has something to fight for, and that is power. Macbeth never thought of suicide, he always thought he was better than all, and that he could win, fighting alone. “Why should I play the Roman fool, and die / On mine own sword? whiles I see lives, the gashes/ Do better upon them.” (5, 8, 1-3) Macbeth and ambition go together very well. Throughout the whole play, even until his death, Macbeth shows his determination towards his throne and power, because to reach power you need ambition and Macbeth clearly represents this.
Secondly, it’s unquestionable that Lady Macbeth plays a big part of ambition when she drives Macbeth to action. This is important because Lady Macbeth has the motivation to give him the drive to kill Duncan, so she can be Queen. This ambition is quite important because she is the reason; Macbeth became so ambitious and powerful. Lady Macbeth: … Art thou without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it; what thou wouldst highly,
That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false…
And that which rather thou dost fear to do
Than wishest should be undone. (1, 5, 18-24)
This quote justifies that Macbeth is not without ambition but has no immorality, which is what is needed. She explains that if he wants the crown he might have to do things he fears than not having it at all, despite the circumstances to obtain it. Lady Macbeth’s ambition rises during the process of convincing Macbeth to kill Duncan, when she declares she wishes she wasn’t a woman so she commits the murder herself. This is great ambition because it shows the audience and the reader that she is determined to get to her position. She finds her husbands to be incompetent and weak, while she is strong. Lady Macbeth is also power-hungry,...