What Are The Dangers Of Ambition In Macbeth

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Lady Macbeth's soliloquy in Act 1, Scene 5, shows her ambitious personality getting the better of her. In the play, he has just received Macbeth's letter saying he has been made Thane of Cawdor and that the Three Witches had prophesied he would also eventually be crowned king. Her own thirst for power immediately ignites her ambition, and she makes plans to encourage her husband to do whatever it takes to gain more power. This soliloquy is portrays the dangers of excessive ambition, even portraying it as an illness, and how it can be deadly in the end. Many literary devices are present that portray the dangers of excessive ambition that further portray Lady Macbeth as a particularly dangerous woman. A metaphor presents the dangers of both ambition and Lady Macbeth where she compares her husband to a young baby still feeding on a mother's milk. Milk being "human kindness," as we see in her lines:…show more content…
(14-16) In these lines, if Macbeth is "too full [of] milk," then he is being compared to an innocent baby. She also uses the phrase "milk of human kindness" to show how much Macbeth has been nurtured by kindness, making him virtually innocent in matters of evil. Now since she objects to Macbeth's innocent nature, we start to get the picture that Lady Macbeth is a particularly dangerous woman, someone to be feared and can’t be necessarily trusted. It also foreshadows how much she will take a negative influence on Macbeth and represent the id of his conscious. Another literary device can be seen in Lady Macbeth's use of antithesis in the lines: [Thou] [a]rt not without ambition, but without The illness should attend it

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