Theme of Macbeth

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  • Topic: Macbeth, William Shakespeare, Three Witches
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November 14th, 2012
English IV
Theme of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth
The play “Macbeth”, written by William Shakespeare, demonstrates the dramatic change people make in themselves when they desire something very strongly. After Macbeth heard the witches’ first set of prophecies, his head, as well as Lady Macbeth’s head, was flooded with the desire for him to become king. This ambition leads the Macbeths to taking steps they would not have taken initially in order to obtain that position of power, developing a major theme of “Macbeth”. In Act I Scene 5, Lady Macbeth comes off as extremely controlling and pushy due to her large desire for Macbeth to become king. This is demonstrated in line 71, where she tells Macbeth to “Leave all the rest to me”, referring to the plan to murder Duncan. Lady Macbeth pushed Macbeth into putting his ambition into the form of action, ultimately gaining him the crown. The murder of Duncan not only helps develop the plot, but leads to the transition of Lady Macbeth’s character from being extremely confident and pushy into being cautious and full of remorse. Macbeth did not want to kill Duncan initially in order to achieve the throne, but due to his growing ambition and Lady Macbeth’s desire for him to become king, his ambition gets a hold of him and he begins to make more and more sinister moves as the play progresses. Macbeth’s overwhelming ambition is further demonstrated in Act III Scene 1. Macbeth decides to turn against his long time friend Banquo, as well as Banquo’s son, in order to try to prevent them from receiving the throne, thus fulfilling the prophecy of the witches. Macbeth’s ambition led him to betraying one of his best friends and comrades by sending murderers to kill him. Lines 113 and 114 state “Both of you know Banquo was your enemy”, spoken by Macbeth when encouraging the murderers to follow through with the killing of Banquo. This line elaborates on the idea that Macbeth would do whatever he...
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