Macbeth's Selfish-Ambition Throught The Play

Falling up the stairs is the longest fall down. Starting at the top and trying to ascend is the hardest to continually do unless your inner being is fixed. Like Macbeth, In the Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare most tragic heroes have hidden flaws which lead to their fall from grace. Influences from other characters also contribute to his downfall, but the greatest cause comes from his actions and thoughts. As a result of his remorseless search for power that set in motion the resistance against him, the growing psychosis that caused him to form additional enemies, and his failure to take note of the warnings of the danger mounting towards him, Macbeth himself is the one responsible for his tragic downfall.

Although outside influences factor a person's choices, Macbeth is responsible for his downfall because he allows his selfish-ambition to make his decisions.

On his quest to the top, Macbeth is promoted to Thane of Cawdor yet allows his wife’s manipulation to fuel his dark desires.

Get quality help now
checked Verified writer

Proficient in: Macbeth Ambition

star star star star 4.7 (348)

“ Amazing as always, gave her a week to finish a big assignment and came through way ahead of time. ”

avatar avatar avatar
+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

A battle of flesh vs good plagues Macbeth's heart due to his indecisiveness on whether to kill King Duncan. Due to Macbeth's indecisiveness his wife chimes in, “ Art thou afeard/ To be the same in thine own act and valour/ As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that/ Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life, /And live a coward in thine own esteem…”. Lady Macbeth helps redirect his thinking by planting a seed in his brain that roots his ambitious goal of wanting treasures under the sun.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

When it's all said in done, “Enter Macbeth with bloody daggers”. Macbeths intuition overcomes his good. He couldn't resist having more, and he ultimately killed the king which lit a fuse for him to continue on his thirst for power. Macbeth is weak-minded and falls for his inner demon,“... for he is helpless to resist the temptation to evil when spurred on by Lady Macbeth to do the deed of Duncan's murder”. Thus pushed his thirst for power and control. Macbeth's mind is in a bend because he lets Lady Macbeth's devilish words settle in his mind, in the end, he makes a decision that leads him down an inescapable path.

Shakespeare slowly reveals Macbeth's paranoia, and he listens to his inner drive which forces him to make decisions based on greed. While he may have solved the problem of becoming king when he, “Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor /Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more.” he introduces new psychological effects that haunt him from here on out. Thus leads his strive to become king creates trust issues that stick him deep down which divides his heart into whether he should choose his inner cabinet or to keep striving for the king. Unfortunately, Macbeth's obsession (or choice) of securing the crown is shown when he pleads, “Our fears in Banquo Stick deep, and in his royalty of nature /Reigns that which would be feared. 'Tis much he dares…”. He will do anything to cut off any loose ends to ensure the crown even if it means killing his inner circle. Also, Macbeth's actions circulate as, “He no longer can act autonomously but is rather a puppet of evil forces to which he has given up his will”(Davidson), This alludes to the fact that his mind is trapped in a never-ending cycle of power crave. Macbeth's initial step of murder and going against his conscience continues his downward spiral and his self-indulgence.

Lastly, Macbeth's thirst for power leads him to search for answers that further his spiral to destruction. With his ambition high and his faith low, Macbeth has to accumulate answers to remain in power. Macbeth's ambition leads him back to where he started, “Though you untie the winds and let them fight / Against the churches...Even till destruction sicken, answer me /To what I ask you.” This establishes that he won't stop until everything is in his favor even if it means believing in tainted visions. Despite Macbeth being king for some time now, “His mind is already 'full of scorpions', a creature that is known for its fierce and poisonous bite” because of his evil mind that has led to self-seeking actions. “I’ll fight till from my bones my flesh be hack’d. Give me my armor.” Rather than flee away from the scene, Macbeth decides to partake in the battle and fight. This shows his total blindness towards his imminent death; all the prophecies of his doom have come true, and yet he still believes he can take on ten thousand troops alone. Unable to recognize the dangers facing him, Macbeth is responsible for his death, because he let his guilty conscience cause a lack of judgment.

In conclusion, Macbeth is the one responsible for his downfall because, in the end, he is the one that follows through with his actions. Shakespeare uses Macbeth's blind pursuit of power to create a character that allows his egoistic self to dictate his depraved goals. In the end, it created a tragic death to a once highly sought out soldier. Plus Shakespeare wants us to realize that although noise can distract us from living to our purpose, we shouldn't jump off a cliff that leads us nowhere.

Updated: Feb 02, 2024
Cite this page

Macbeth's Selfish-Ambition Throught The Play. (2024, Feb 11). Retrieved from

Live chat  with support 24/7

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment