Examples Of Ambition In Macbeth

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In Macbeth by Shakespeare, Macbeth’s actions were not motivated by fate, but by ambition and his desire to not be seen as a coward in the eyes of his wife, Lady Macbeth. Macbeth was a loyal general to Duncan, the king of Scotland. He won many battles and was a brilliant commander. When Macbeth and Banquo encountered the Weird Sisters, they were each given prophecies. The Sisters prophesized that Macbeth would become Thane of Cawdor and then King. They also prophesized that Banquo would father a line of kings but would not be one himself. After being rewarded for his loyalty and unbounded courage and bravery with the title Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth believed that he would be king despite the fact that Malcolm (Duncan’s son) was named heir.…show more content…
He does this to secure his hold on the throne because of the Weird Sister’s prophecy that Banquo would not be a king but father a line of kings. Therefore Macbeth, while acting in reaction to the prophecies, is actually acting on his ambition and free will, and is not captive to fate. In addition to Macbeth’s ambition, his actions were motivated by his desire to not seem like a coward in his wife’s eyes. After they planned to murder Duncan and seize the throne, Macbeth began to have second thoughts. When he confronted Lady Macbeth about not wanting to go through with the murder, she called his manliness into question. She called him a coward and said When you durst do it, then you were a man; /And to be more than what you were, you would/Be so much more the man. Nor time nor place/Dis adhere, and yet you would make both./They have made themselves, and that their fitness now/Does unmake you. I have given suck, and know/How tender ‘tis to love the babe that milks me./I would, while it was smiling in my face,/Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums/And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you/Have done to…show more content…
The first apparition (an armed head), stated “Beware Macduff!/Beware the Thane of Fife” (Shakespeare 403), which simply confirmed his suspicions of Macduff’s intent. The second apparition (bloody child) said, “The power of man, for none of woman born/Shall harm Macbeth” (Shakespeare 403). This gave Macbeth great confidence (Mabillard) since it said that no man born of woman could harm him, this also made him question the first apparition since Macduff was a man born of woman. The final apparition (child crowned) declares that “Macbeth shall never vanquished until/Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill/Shall come against him” (Shakespeare 404). He is sure that the last apparition will not come true (Mabillard) because it is a physical impossibility. He didn’t believe in fate, in this case, because it told him that he would only be defeated if things occurred that were not natural or possible. He thought he could not be harmed because every man is born of woman, even Macduff, and he would not be defeated because the trees of Birnam cannot actually march

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