How are Ambition and Power presented in Frankenstein and Macbeth? “Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.” – Napoleon Bonaparte I believe this quote especially applies in the cases of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth (1606) and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818). They are definitely “great characters” as they are the protagonist in books that have been regarded as great pieces of literature for many centuries, but their ambitions materialised in monstrous acts, meaning the principles that lead them to ruin were equally atrocious.
This age in time was entirely about monopolies and hard work. However, during, this time monopolies were extremely competitive and greedy. Henry Demarest Lloyd manifests in his book “Commonwealth” that working against each other often got in the way of the work they were trying to accomplish. The countries vast moneymakers all appeared in the same generation and all wanted to be king of industry. The men who composed the monopolies, were undeniably highly intelligent, but they had an even bigger desire for competition.
Ambition can drive almost anyone to do things that their consciences normally would not let them do. For this tragic hero, ambition is his folly. Macbeth’s ambition causes him to be susceptible to outsides influences, overrides his conscience and ultimately brings his destruction. Macbeth’s actions have a profound effect on his character for the rest of the play. At first, he is described as a valiant hero of the land, bravely fighting for King Duncan, but his overreaching ambition causes him to do vile acts, completely overriding his conscience.
Many centuries ago, the one and only William Shakespeare wrote the famous works, Othello and Macbeth. Both plays had many different common themes. For example, the popular theme of one character becoming both victim and enemy was introduced in both plays. In the play of Macbeth, Macbeth fell victim to malicious deception, and is conceded to manipulation and hate when three characters trick him into a fatal trap. After being crowned king, Macbeth does whatever he can do to insure his own security, including securing his properties.
This was all over the world. Different countries were left out of the Versailles treaty and this made them feel that they never received an equal share of the treaty. This fact led to self interest in countries proving that they were the top leaders (Kershaw, 2000. Germany and some parts of Europe preached and advocated for Nationalism and Fascism with the party building its empire on extreme nationalism. Fascism kept on promising people the restoration of their economy and this was one of the factors that popularized Hitler, Mussolini and many others as nationalists with the mind of their countries looking forward to see great improvement in their economy.
Having too much ambition can force someone to do negative things in order to reach their goal. Several political leaders, literary characters and cultural icons have too much ambition that led them to commit negative actions. Political leaders naturally have ambition, but leaders like Napoleon and Adolf Hitler gained too much ambition that eventually led to their downfall.
Shakespeare illustrates these degradations of character through the use of tragic flaws to show the manifestations of power’s grip on the characters. In The Tragedy of Macbeth, Macbeth’s tragic flaw, ambition, introduces the concept that an insatiable thirst for influence can lead to one losing their sense of reality and humanity. As the protagonist plots how he’s going to reach the crown, he begins to consider the people in his way not as individuals, but instead as “a step / on which I must fall down, or else o 'erleap / For in my way it lies” (I.iv.55-58). This inadvertent dehumanization of others is just the first step of his wicked journey on which he finds himself murdering those he once looked up to for their title. The closer Macbeth gets to his goal, the more corrupted he becomes, and even in power, he finds himself tormented by the thought of losing it.
Political leaders naturally have ambition but leaders like Napoleon and Adolf Hitler gained too much ambition that eventually led to their downfall. In february of 1807 the battle of eylau took place between Russia and France, it eventually led to negotiations between them on the island of tilsit. I got my quote from the article DISCovering Biography, “his ambition seemed limitless but he was not omnipotent”. At this point napoleon had endless ambition and drive, he defeated European power after European power, rearranged the map and enforced french dominance. Nevertheless he was not all powerful , he still had to take control of England.
The great paradox is that each and every dictator accumulates such power, climbing the ladder of free speech and after attaining the peak, suppressing the others by not gifting that ladder of speech. European nations faced a great havoc in the 19th century. The catastrophic World Wars I and II not only made them a ‘waste land’ but shattered the peace, integrity among the entire mankind. The experiences – pain, suffering, trauma, dislocation and the mental agony, and the treatment of these emotions are clearly portrayed in the literary works of that period as the War literature. The ugly larger political and war realities are well revealed in these War literary works.
Another, example of how having too much ambition can be through julius Caesar “Throughout his career, Caesar gave the impression that he always knew where he was going and what he was going to do when he got there. That impression eventually proved to be his undoing as it mutated into an imperious arrogance that cost him his life.” While Julius Caesar was able to gain the power he had because of his ambition it was also the thing that cause his downfall and assassination. He made decisions that did not help anyone, it was the ambition making the decisions rather than himself. The fact is that Julius Caesar's ambition pushed him to strive to continue the greatness he had supplied the Roman people with so long, that he became arrogant and selfish, which negatively affected his life. In conclusion, having too much