Shakespeare believes that ambition, when taken too far leads to our destruction as shown through Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is a heroic soldier who fights for the king without mercy, but he has track by ambition, his curious nature and his wife’s ambition lead him to the witches who told him the prophecies. After the second prophecy has come true, Macbeth has become the thane of Cawdor. He has led to the growth of his ambition by his thought “whose horrid image doth unfix my hair and Ames my seated heart knock at my rib again the use of nature? Present fears are less than horrible imaginings” (1.3.150).
By playing on Macbeth’s deepest ambition, it brought forth thoughts of evil and as a result, it leads Macbeth down a violent path. Lady Macbeth also has a part to play as she is the driving force, who plotted and urged Macbeth into committing the hideous act. Lady Macbeth attacked qualities of Macbeth’s manhood, telling him when he commits the murder then he “[is] a man”. Shakespeare suggests that Macbeth lacks the strength of character, but through manipulation of his ambitions, he gains the strength to carry out the act. Straight after the murder of Duncan, Macbeth is shaken by what he has committed and says will all “great Neptune’s ocean, wash this blood/clean from my hands”, reveals that he is now regretting his decision and is making an attempt to get rid of the evidence.
Shakespeare Macbeth (1606), tells the catastrophic story of Macbeth’s bloody rise to power and then tragic downfall. (Harcour, 2016) Shakespeare, conveys a theme that integrity can be overpowered and destroyed by ambition. The theme is demonstrated throughout the play by the clever use of literary devices and language features. Shakespeare focuses on how Macbeth’s integrity is damaged and diminished due to his ambitions. At the first stage, a Captain describes Macbeth as a loyal subject dedicated to serve King Duncan.
It was her ambitious plan on murdering Duncan, but Macbeth does not want to kill him. After Lady Macbeth reads the letter she says, “Come, you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full of direst cruelty. Make thick my blood.” (Shakespeare 1:5:30-33). This quotation by Lady Macbeth says “unsex her”, which means she is wanting to be like a stereotypical man to give her enough power and to be less emotional. She says this because she can then make herself a cruel person and murder Duncan.
Shakespeare uses Macbeth to show how pride is destructive, sin corrupts the mind, and that not all counsel should be taken. In Macbeth, the most shown factor is pride. When Macbeth was told by the witches that he would become king, the seed of pride was planted in his heart, and with encouragement from others, manifested quickly. Macbeth kills people he claims to care about, and starts a war all based on his pride. He deems himself more worthy and important than everyone, even his wife.
She participates in many actions that suggest so. In the beginning of the play, she states, “Come, you spirits that server the thoughts of mortals: rid me of the natural tenderness of my sex and fill me from head to toe with direst cruelty!”(I, v, 39-42). So that she may commit the murder of Duncan, Lady Macbeth wishes to be rid of her tender side and replace it with cruelty. To murder Duncan, it will require her to be ruthless and that is what she is wishing from the spirits. In addition to wanting to be evil, Lady Macbeth continues to convey her true side.
William Shakespeare, one of history’s legendary writers, created the play Macbeth with a tragedy that still burns with pity and sadness for Macbeth to this very day. From Macbeth’s tragic flaws, his continuous errors in judgement, to his complete downfall, this character actively demonstrates many characteristics of a Shakespearean tragic hero. The character Macbeth is a tragic hero in the play Macbeth. One of the reasons how Macbeth is a tragic hero is by his tragic flaws. In the play, the audience receives a sense of Macbeth’s ambition from this quote: “I have no spur/to prick the sides of my intent, but only/vaulting ambition, which overlaps itself/and falls on the others” (1,7,25-28).
Shakespeare uses sleep not as a peaceful resting state, but to reveal Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s guilty consciences. Macbeth is given prophecies throughout the play that prove his guilt and shame. In the beginning, Macbeth’s hunger for power is ignited by the prophecies from the witches. He likes the scheme of killing Duncan so he will be closer to the throne. As the play continues, he realizes how dreadful they actually are.
(Act 1, Scene 7) Through the power of manipulation, Lady Macbeth powerfully challenges Macbeth to commit to the plan to murder King Duncan by exclaiming “screw your courage to the sticking-place. And we’ll not fail.” (Act I, Scene 7) It is through her words that Lady Macbeth has her husband, Macbeth, murder King Duncan and achieve her great desire to become Queen of Scotland. Unfortunately, the death of King Duncan begins Macbeth’s reign of tyranny, which also begins the emergence of Lady Macbeth’s guilty conscience. As a result of serving as a catalyst that effectively unleashes Macbeth’s true side of evil, Lady Macbeth’s guilty conscience begins to surface. Immediately upon becoming King of Scotland, Macbeth’s wicked and selfish ambitions to achieve absolute dominance over the throne begins his murderous reign of tyranny.
Macbeth was not the true villain because he was influenced by ambition and persuasion in the form the witches prophecy, “All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter.”(1.3.50) This led to the thoughts of murder for Macbeth’s gain. It is clear that the witches are the only true villain, because only they were the main cause for all of Macbeth’s murders. Not only is it clear in the play, but if you look at the background knowledge surrounding the play, you would know it was written for King James of England, who was very persistent in capturing and prosecuting “witches” , so Shakespeare had made the three witches the villains to give himself a good image with the king. This is why the witches are the true villains, because they had planted murderous thoughts in Macbeth’s mind and then tricked him with illogical prophecies. With all this said, the witches’ absolute supernatural powers corrupted them