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Ambition Essay

Ambition is not so much the desire to achieve, but the action or method of getting to that desire, without the action it is merely a dream. When an individual speaks about ambition there is a straight idea of positivity embedded into it. Carol Anne Duffy’s education for leisure and Shakespeare’s Macbeth both have a very strong link to ambition and power, but they are by no means positive ambitions.

In this essay I am going to analyse and compare the two piece of text. The poem ‘Education for Leisure’ by Carol Ann Duffy features an enigmatic character whose personality is gradually revealed throughout the poem. The poem explores a character disillusioned with the education system under Thatcher rule and the detrimental effect this has on the individual. The poem starts with ‘today I’m going to kill something. Anything.

This implicitly suggests the sadistic nature of the speaker, considering that he used the word ‘kill’ so casually Clearly implies that he is mentally unstable this can almost immediately put the reader in a uncomfortable position while reading the text. On the other hand Lady Macbeth’s hunger for power grows stronger with every passing minute,’ Yet do I fear thy nature;It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness’. This strongly suggests that lady Macbeth fears Macbeths nature because he is too compassionate and caring for other individuals which could’ve dented their evil plot in the search of power.

In education for leisure the poet’s clever structure and use of language help reveal to the reader the psychopathic, egotistical and deluded nature of this character which in turn helps augment the reader’s understanding of the main theme isolation and the failure of the education system. The speaker employs a biblical references that emphasise his deluded nature, with the phrase,’ today I am going to play god. ’ This explicitly suggests that he is going to pretend to be an all-powerful figure in the shape of himself that can potentially create or destroy, maybe he is implying that he can create a woeful atmosphere or destroy peoples lives.


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