Macbeth Power and Ambition

Topics: Macbeth, Three Witches, William Shakespeare Pages: 2 (560 words) Published: October 29, 2014
Ivy-Mae Coates Ruhle
Ms. Buckler/Mr. Buckley
Period 4AB
28 October 2014
Power and ambition in The Tragedy of Macbeth
Over ambition is a common tragic flaw in Shakespearean writing; it often leads to a character's downfall. The tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare is a perfect example of the tragic flaw of over ambition and the desire for power. The three points that show this theme are Lady Macbeth and the 3 witches’ power over Macbeth, the murder of King Duncan, and lastly the murder of Banquo. Power and ambition are two major themes in Macbeth that lead to his complete demise.

Throughout the play, Lady Macbeth majorly impacts her husband's decision making and brainwashes him. She convinces him from the start to act on whatever thoughts he might have. He states to himself;“From now on, every deed that my mind imagines will be carried out by my hand at once” (IV.i.161-163). This evil woman threatens Macbeth with his manhood to get him to do what she wants him to. She says, “What beast was't then / That made you break this enterprise to me? . When you durst do it, then you were a man;” (I.vii.47-49). If he really was a man, he would be able to commit the crime of murder with no problem or fear. The witches could also impact how Macbeth would usually act on things. If the witches weren’t part of the play he would not have even known he was going to become Thane of Cawdor or King. After two of the witches prophecies were accurate, he trusted them completely. Lady Macbeth, and the witches had a huge roll of power throughout the play having great impact on Macbeth.

The murder of King Duncan had so many examples of power. First of all, Macbeth had it in his head from the witches that he would be crowned King when the third witch says “All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!”(I.iii.4-6). The witches had already been accurate with their previous prediction of him becoming Thane of Cawdor, so that drew him to believe that he would also be crowned...
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