Macbeth Ambition And Corruption

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Ambition is a trait held by many, and can play an important role in leading people to achieve their goals. However, when ambition remains unchecked, it can take a much darker turn, and lead to corruption of morals and power. In William Shakespeare’s famous tragedy Macbeth, the relationship between ambition and corruption is explored, and these traits are also displayed in several of the plays characters. This theme is especially significant, as it serves to drive the action of the play: the decisions made by characters such as Lady Macbeth and Macbeth are influenced by a desire to pursue their unchecked ambitions for both themselves and each other, and lead to their own moral corruption. This theme is also present in the actions of the Witches,…show more content…
One example of ambition and corruption in Macbeth’s character arises in Act III, scene i, as he plots the murder of Banquo, his ambition being his desire to maintain the throne and prevent Banquo’s lineage from overthrowing his family. This ambition remains unchecked, and leads to a corruption of his personal morals, which results in his plotting to murder Banquo and Fleance. In this scene, Macbeth’s moral corruption is further displayed as he has made himself believe that his actions in plotting to murder Banquo and Fleance is right, despite their friendship.Macbeth demonstrates additional corruption as he pursues his ambition to maintain his power. This is displayed through the use of his influence as king of Scotland to gain the trust of the murderers he has hired, which he then uses to manipulate them into believing that Banquo is responsible for the low socioeconomic status of the murderers, and that this is Macbeth’s true motivation for plotting Banquo and Fleance’s death, which is revealed when Macbeth says to them, “Know / That it was [Banquo], in the times past, which held you / So under fortune” (Shakespeare, III.i.83-85). Therefore, Macbeth’s unchecked ambition to maintain his position on the throne, as well as his corrupted sense of morals that have grown from such ambition, result in his decision to plot the murder of Banquo and Fleance. Furthermore, Macbeth’s corruption of his power and influence as the king of Scotland drives him to successfully manipulate the murderers to think there is just cause for carrying out the

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