Ambition Of Macbeth In The Play by William Shakespeare

Thomas Otway once said, 'Lust is never to be quenched, but with enjoyment it is more flammable and madder”. Otway describes that having excess of ambition never satisfies a person or satisfies himself with any results. They will always want more and will be happy to destroy anyone or anything to achieve their ultimate goals and ambitions. The authors emphasize how the problem of ambition as a tragic flaw may show how people are to go against their morality in Macbeth by Wiliam Shakespeare, the “Lottery Ticket” by Anton Chenhov, and “Ambition: Why Some People Are Most Likely to Succeed” by Jeffery Kluger because of the greed they have for power and fortune.

In Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, his main character, Macbeth, let’s his ambition get too far ahead of him, which led to death among the innocent people. In the play three witches claim that Macbeth's prophecy is Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland. Macbeth states, 'The two truths / As joyful prologs, the movement of the imperial theme is swelling'.

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As Macbeth hears the witches prophecy that Thane of Cawdor has become true, Macbeth speaks these lines and immediately begins to wonder if it means that he will become king too. Now Macbeth is so willing to become king and even mentions and knows the crimes that he would have to commit, and this starts his murderous rampage. People are placed in high positions that they have to choose what they want to be scarified in order to maintain their roles, and people are aware of the sacrifices, but will not stop at anything to make sure they preserve their control.

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Macbeth was not alone in the assassinations committed in the book, and often had support for proposals and schemes. Macbeth's accomplice in the crimes committed was Lady Macbeth and she realizes that her husband, Macbeth “wouldst be great/ Art not without ambition, but without/ The illness should attend it”.

Lady Macbeth talks about those lines when she reflects on the character of her husband. She knows that Macbeth is capable of optimistic aspirations, but she feels he is unable to show the aggressive actions needed to make those dreams come true. Those lines illustrate Lady Macbeth's own theory of dominance, in which only individuals can rise to power who are willing to set aside their morality. The aggressive nature of Lady Macbeth is what drives the plan to start killing people to gain the title of King Of Scotland. There will be people in life who will motivate people to do the wrong thing and people will give in under the impression of fear of being taunted for being too timid. Macbeth becomes King of Scotland, but he still is not satisfied with just being king. Macbeth worries that he will not be able to keep his position and feels that “To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus”. Macbeth is afraid that he might lose his position and is also frustrated by the fact that he has no heir. Without the knowledge that his lineage will continue after him, Macbeth finds it meaningless to be king. This quote reveals how him giving in to his ambition and murdering Duncan has not brought him peace, but rather has just left him more paranoid and anxious. The line also reveals how Macbeth’s first violent action sets off a chain reaction of him continuing to commit violent actions in order to maintain his hold on the power he has gained. A guilty conscience will play a role in someone’s life who did terrible things to others for their own security of attaining power and fortune.

Having too much ambition and will power will even put relationships and bonds with the people you love in danger. In “The Lottery Ticket” by Anton Chekhov, consists of a married couple who is figuring out they may have won the lottery. When they find out of their possible winnings they automatically turn on each other because of their selfishness. The wife “ Had her own daydreams, her own plans, her own reflections; she understood perfectly well what her husbands were. She knew it would be the first to grab her winnings”. The couple's ambition to have all of the lottery ticket winnings to themselves shows how the destructive nature of envy and desire for material possessions will cause a person to turn against someone they love. The story shows how people's lives and what is important to them can change quickly with the sudden arrival of money.

Many of the famous people and companies nations have grown to know and love today, have been involved in situations where their ambitions drove them off the edge. In “Ambition: Why Some People Are Most Likely to Succeed” by Jeffery Kruger, the moral idea of the article exposes how people let their ambition take over their lives and how “ambition becomes way too much and grand dreams unmoored from morals are the stuff the tyrants”. The author explains that desire without morality is bad because people can get so caught up in their own ambitions and desires, that they don't see the common people's well-being. It leads to a kind of authoritarian action as people can place themselves above the needs and desires of all others. Once people are placed in high positions, morality is not often a consideration that people decide to use in their decisions because they are greedy and have too much ambition for their own future, and they do not know who is suffering in the process.

When someone is willing to sacrifice their personal relationships to achieve a goal, ambition can become dangerous. If ambition is not guided by one's beliefs, it can lead to actions that can result in material and intangible benefits that slowly detach an individual from meaningful relationships because they have placed the value of a human life on the material objects. It is crucial that ambition does not turn into an addiction or that it could put many people and relationships in danger.

Updated: Feb 17, 2024
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Ambition Of Macbeth In The Play by William Shakespeare. (2024, Feb 17). Retrieved from

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