Life Changing Effects Of Corrupted Ambition

Topics: Macbeth, Duncan I of Scotland, Malcolm III of Scotland Pages: 5 (1842 words) Published: January 13, 2015
Life Changing Effects of Corrupted Ambition
Many people have hopes or goals that one might want to accomplish in their future. They may desire powerful positions or occupations, while others may desire prosperity and wealth. This is known as ambition, the spellbinding force that leads one toward success. However, an excessive amount can result in harmful acts and damaging outcomes to get ones temporary satisfaction. William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” shows a great deal of ambition between characters and how their choices made determine the fate of others. These acts can be expressed as a need for power, an urge to get revenge or using violence to reach goals. Each character has a unique reason for their ambition and a different way of displaying their desire to achieve their overall objective. Though out the story Macbeth strives to reach his goals and with the help of his power hungry wife, Lady Macbeth, he kills the good King Duncan and gets his wishes. He is then forced to contend with the vengeful son of Duncan, Malcolm. All these characters have distinctive desires and will endure violence, revenge, and betrayal in order to feed their ambition and gain power. All of these choices show how far a determined person will go to achieve their goals.

Macbeth is the most ambitious character in the play, he is a ruthless king who has people killed in order for himself to remain in power. From the beginning of the play, Macbeth was described as a kind person who would never kill to gain authority. While his ambition expands over the course of the play, it also exists prior to his hearing of the prophecy of the witches; these three sisters are the ones who initially plant the seed for his overwhelming ambition, he stated “"If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my stir." (I.3) Over the course of the play, as his success grows, so does his ambitious nature. After Lady Macbeth convinces him to kill Duncan, Macbeth’s life changes and will never be the same. Before the murder of Duncan, Macbeth prepares himself “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself, and falls on th'other.” (1.7) and convinces himself it is the only way to feed his ambitious nature. Every murder he commits from that point on haunts him as well as builds up an incredible amount of remorse, that in the end destroys both him and his wife. After Macbeth becomes king, he begins to worry about the second part of the witches prophecy, when Banquos sons become kings. He dreads the idea of allowing them to become heirs and since Macbeth committed a sinful act to become king, he doesn't want to loose anything to Banquos royal bloodline. This shows how evil and corrupt Macbeth has become. Nothing will get in the way of his desire to be the King of Scotland, not even friendship. The manslaughter of important people in Macduff’s family and the destruction of a friendship is a symbol of how strong Macbeths ambition truly is. Macbeth slowly becomes accustomed to killing and does it more easily, without remorse. His goals and desires end up effecting his relationships and overall abolishes his life. One of the three apparitions warns him of Macduff. Surprisingly, after Macbeth learns that Macduff has fled to England, he responds by declaring that he will kill everyone that is important to Macduff including his wife and children. This represents how unethical and destructive he has become, Macbeth does not even care who he is killing anymore; as long as he gains power and his wishes are fulfilled he is happy. Macbeth is so afraid of losing to Macduff that he believes killing his family will break him beyond repair. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Given Macbeth's ambition has brought about the death of many, it is of no surprise that it will bring death to him as well. Essentially, if Macbeth would have allowed "chance to crown him," his ambition would not have grown and lead to his own...
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