Macbeth's Ambition Research Paper

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Many people in this world have a strong desire to succeed in life, whether it is through acquiring money, power, or through other means. This desire is known as ambition, and it’s a force that compels people to succeed in their ventures, no matter what the cost may be. In Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, Macbeth’s tragic flaw is his unbridled ambition, which takes control of his actions, leading him down a dark path that eventually causes his downfall. The first instance of Macbeth’s ambition compromising his morals is when he kills the king, Duncan. The first time that Macbeth’s ambition compromises his morals is when Macbeth kills Duncan in his sleep. Before killing Duncan, he says; Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear Thy very…show more content…
Before the events of the play, Macbeth had been loyal to Duncan, taking orders and fighting valiantly for him. After the Weird Sisters prophesized that Macbeth’s children shall be kings however, he compromised that loyalty and killed Duncan. Although Lady Macbeth may have had a hand in convincing him to do it, Macbeth said that “I have no spur / To prick the sides of my intent, but only / Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself / And falls on th' other” (41), meaning that he dearly wanted to be King, and it just took a little push from Lady Macbeth for him to do it. His ambition changed him from a loyal friend and noble soldier to a tyrannical ruler who killed all who opposed him. Although the death of Duncan didn’t immediately cause Macbeth’s downfall, it was the first event in a chain of events that would lead to his ultimate…show more content…
I conjure you, by that which you profess, Howe'er you come to know it, answer me: Though you untie the winds and let them fight Against the churches; though the yesty waves Confound and swallow navigation up; Though bladed corn be lodged and trees blown down; Though castles topple on their warders' heads; Though palaces and pyramids do slope Their heads to their foundations; though the treasure Of nature's germens tumble all together, Even till destruction sicken; answer me To what I ask you. (IV. III. 123) Macbeth shows here that he will use whatever means necessary to fulfill his ambitions, even if that means asking the cryptic Weird Sisters for advice. Because of the advice he received, Macbeth was confident that he would never be killed, as he says; “I will not be afraid of death and bane / Till Birnam forest come to Dunsinane (V. IV.173).” This overconfidence made him cocky with his decisions, and that willingness to do anything to achieve his goal sealed his

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