Ambition in Macbeth Summary 4

Topics: Macbeth, Corruption, Duncan I of Scotland Pages: 4 (1274 words) Published: May 22, 2006
Ambition is defined as an eager or strong desire to achieve something, such as fame or power. In the words of Niccolo Machiavelli, "Ambition is so powerful a passion in the human breast, that however high we reach we are never satisfied." This quote defines how ambition is never fulfilled, and it will cause people to keep striving for more. Ambition in shown in "Macbeth" when Macbeth strives to become King, after the he hears his prophecy from the weird sisters, and this ends in Macbeth's defeat. The rebels show ambition in "A Bend in the River" by striving to overthrow the government. As the desire to overthrow the government prevail over the rebels, they are overcome with extreme ambition and they are conquered. Extreme ambition leads to the corruption and eventual downfall of the characters in both "Macbeth" and "A Bend in the River".

Ambition, no matter how small, builds up, and becomes a need. When this ambition is built up and encouraged, it can influence a person's decision. Macbeth went to three witches, who prophesized that he would become King. This got Macbeth thinking of how he can become King. At this time, he was still unsure of whether he would take any action toward gaining the crown. When he comes back to his house, Lady Macbeth convinces him to murder King Duncan, through emotionally degrading him, shown in the quote: "Art thou afeard/ To be the same in thine own act and valour/ As thou art in desire?" (Act I, Scene IV). This quote shows how Lady Macbeth influenced Macbeth's decision, because after hearing about the prophecy, she also had the ambition for her husband to become King. In the novel "A Bend in the River", a similar situation occurs. A political party formed the government of Zaire, and was in power at the time. There was a war between European nations within Zaire, which the country battered, and the government unstable. The rebel group was still under control at this time, so they posed no major threat. They then got a new...

Bibliography: Shakespeare, William, "Macbeth" Trenton Publishing
Naipal, V.S. "A Bend in the River" Washworks Publishing
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