Macbeth - the Power of Ambition

Topics: Macbeth, Macduff's son, Duncan I of Scotland Pages: 3 (1192 words) Published: November 22, 2011
The Power of Macbeth
Ambition is often the driving force in one’s life. It is supposed to be the motivating factor that drives one towards success. Society also deems ambition a necessary quality of their leader. It can be said that Macbeth exhibits this quality. He is the strong, valiant warrior who has won in battle and brought victory to Scotland. However, Macbeth’s quest to acquire more power - his ambition - ultimately leads to his downfall. How can one allow himself to be destroyed by such a thing? Before Duncan’s murder, Macbeth questions and second guesses his ambitious tendencies and actions. Despite his anxiety, he succumbs to these tendencies and finds himself in more trouble than he anticipated. His guilty conscience haunts him and his unforgiving deeds come back to trouble him. Macbeths’ actions are clearly motivated by his overpowering ambition and his unquenchable thirst for power; at the beginning of the play his ambition is channelled into positive deeds, but ultimately it results in his tragic demise. There is no doubt that Macbeth is a noble man. He risked everything he had to protect Scotland from Norway, and single-handedly took down the treacherous Thane of Cawdor: “Till that Bellona’s bridegroom, lapped in proof, / Confronted him with self-comparisons, / Point against point, rebellious arm ‘gainst arm, / Curbing his lavish spirit: and, to conclude, / The victory fell on us” (I, ii, ll 61-65). Macbeth is seen as a brave and noble man by all of his peers, and even King Duncan himself. At the beginning of the play, Macbeths’ ambition was for a greater good because he was fighting for his King and country, not his own well-fare. This is why Duncan proclaims, “What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won” (I, ii, l 67). By this, he is referring to the fact that he named Macbeth to be Thane of Cawdor because of his astonishing bravery in battle and unfailing loyalty. One would think that after such an accomplishment and position of high...
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