Blind Ambition in Macbeth

Topics: Macbeth, Three Witches, William Shakespeare Pages: 4 (1295 words) Published: December 18, 2005
Throughout the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, the reasoning of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is completely subverted and undermined by their insatiable ambition. Macbeth was at first reasonable enough to keep his ambition in check, however it eventually became to strong for even Macbeth and therefor over powered him. To the contrary, Lady Macbeth was overcome by her ambition from the very beginning. Reasoning was abandoned after the decision to kill Duncan was made. At that point we see no serious questioning of the motives of the three witches when they told their cunning and misleading predictions. Macbeth even went as far as to ask for their advise a second time - this second time would of course lead to his downfall. The decision to kill Duncan also signified the last serious attempt at moral contemplation on the part of Macbeth. Throughout the novel we see that the Macbeth's ambition completely subverted their reasoning abilities and eventually lead to their downfall. Macbeth, whom initially was a very reasonable and moral man, could not hold off the lure of ambition. This idea is stated in the following passage: "One of the most significant reasons for the enduring critical interest in Macbeth's character is that he represents humankind's universal propensity to temptation and sin. Macbeth's excessive ambition motivates him to murder Duncan, and once the evil act is accomplished, he sets into motion a series of sinister events that ultimately lead to his downfall." (Scott; 236). Macbeth is told by three witches, in a seemingly random and isolated area, that he will become Thank of Cawdor and eventually king. Only before his ambition overpowers his reasoning does he question their motives. One place this questioning takes place is in the following passage: "- Two Truths are told,

As happy Prologues to the swelling Act
Of the Imperial Theme. - I thank you, Gentlemen.
- This supernatural Soliciting
Cannot be Ill, cannot be good. If Ill,
Why hath...

Bibliography: 1. Blakemore Evans, G. (Editor). The Riverside Shakespeare. 1974. Houghton Miffin Company. Boston, Massatsus.
2. Scott, Mark W. (Editor). Shakespeare for Students. 1992. Gale Research Inc. Detroit, Michigan.
3. Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. 1990. Doubleday Book and Music Clubs, Inc. Great Britain
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