Macbeth and Ambition

Topics: Macbeth, Connotation, William Shakespeare Pages: 3 (851 words) Published: October 13, 2013
Sakila Nazia
Ms. Rendsburg
English pd. 4
12/5/12
Macbeth: Close Reading Essay
Ambition is a strong feeling of wanting to be successful in achieving a goal (Encarta Dictionary). An example of an ambition is in the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare. The main character, Macbeth is described as “not without ambition,” (Shakespeare, 1.5. 19) to become the king. Therefore, he has the drive, and he desires for the success of becoming the king. However, by achieving his goal and satisfying his ambition, the character’s soul and characteristics are gradually corrupted. As Macbeth satisfies his goal, he will change from being a kind natured person to someone who is ill. He will lose his honesty. He will also lose his holiness and begin to become evil. In Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, the theme, satisfying one’s ambition can lead to corruption of the soul, is demonstrated in Act 1, Scene 5, lines 15 – 33 through metaphor, alliteration, and connotation.

The theme of satisfaction of one’s ambition leading to corruption is present in Act 1, Scene 5, lines 15-33 and can be seen through the use of metaphor. The author uses a metaphor to describe him as “full o’ th’ milk of human kindness,” (Shakespeare, 1.5.17). He compares Macbeth’s kindness to “full o’ th’ milk”. This implies that Macbeth is the most kind, sweet, and warm-hearted. He is complete with these characteristics. However, in order to satisfy his ambition, “The illness should attend it,” (Shakespeare, 1.5.20) Macbeth’s kindness will not be able to help him achieve his goal, so he must become ill. “Illness” has a negative connation, meaning morally bad, unkind, evil, or intending harm (Encarta Dictionary). By becoming ill, he will be corrupting his soul, changing his characteristics from good to bad. Through Macbeth’s character change from being kind, demonstrated by a metaphor, to being ill, the theme of satisfaction of an ambition leading to the corruption of the soul can easily be seen in Act 1,...
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