Macbeth Is a Play Where Events Are Shaped by Ambition and Madness. Discuss.

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Macbeth is a play where events are shaped by ambition and madness. Discuss.

Of the many William Shakespeare’s famous playwright, Macbeth is one that challenges characters sanity with their ambition for power. Ambition is a theme that is early established in the play where the desire for power and status consumes Macbeth upon hearing the witches’ prophecy. Lady Macbeth, too, desires for power alongside her husband. However, her wrongdoing overcomes her with fear and guilt, which strips her away from her sanity. This also destroys the close relationship that both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth had as their lives are dictated by fear. Therefore, the events in this play are shaped by the characters whose ambition leads them to lose their morality, and later to be imprisoned in their own madness.

Macbeth is an ambitious man by nature, and was known to be “valiant” and “brave”, however, he is later referred to as a “tyrant” as his crave for power overcomes his sense of morality. Macbeth’s ambition is apparent when he hears the witches’ prophecy, “all hail Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter”, to which he later commands “stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more”. This change in Macbeth’s personality sparks the first signs of ambition he has to become king, and Banquo notices this, quoting “Look, how our partner’s rapt.” This in effect can be said to be the catalyst to Macbeth murdering Duncan for his title of King of Scotland. Because of this, Macbeth lives in constant fear of being overthrown, and his madness to hold power over everyone else is illustrated through the spying of every lord. “There’s not one but in his house, I keep a servant fee’d.” Consequently, Lady Macbeth also suffers her wrongdoings, and in her madness, she leads herself to her own tragedy.

Lady Macbeth can be said to be even more ambitious than her husband in the beginning, but as the guilt of her actions overcomes her, she takes her own life in defeat. In the first few scenes of...
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