Ambition in Macbeth

Topics: Macbeth, Duncan I of Scotland, King Duncan Pages: 3 (1048 words) Published: April 22, 2013
Ambition is often the driving force in one’s life. It can have an extremely dominant impact on not only yourself, but also many people in your surroundings. You have the ability to control if the outcomes either have a lasting negative or positive effect. When a goal requires determination and hard work to complete, personal morals often take a back seat to the aspiration of accomplishing the goal. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, it is clear that like many other great leaders, Macbeth exemplifies the necessary leadership virtue of ambition. Macbeth’s ambition does not just drive him to do great things. It in fact controls him. The playwright explores the idea of how an individual’s ambition can cause them to deceive others, make irrational decisions, and cause internal turmoil.  Ambition, along with the influence of his wife, Lady Macbeth, causes Macbeth to deceive his peers in order to attain position as king. The first time the reader sees Macbeth’s ambition causing him to be deceitful, is when him and his wife invite the current King of Scotland into their home for a dinner, with the soul intent of killing him. After receiving news of Macbeth’s new honor, she holds greater ambitions for Macbeth and pushes him to the edge to achieve the personal goals that she has set for him. To achieve the main goal of becoming king, Macbeth must deceive Duncan in way that will allow him to take over the throne. He must do this by taking action when "The bell invites [him]. Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell. That summons thee to heaven or to hell." (Act II, scene i) This visibly demonstrates how Macbeth deceived his friend into trusting him, when clearly his wife and he had different intentions all along. This proves how an individual’s ambition has the capability to consume ones personal morals and values for the worse.

The impacting role of ambition in Macbeth’s life also causes him to make quick, remorseful, irrational decisions. One of these decisions that he made was...
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