Ambition In Macbeth By William Shakespeare

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The theme of ambition is clearly seen from the several hallucinations that Macbeth experiences throughout the play. Moments before the murder of King Duncan, Macbeth imagines a bloody dagger with the handle pointing towards his hand, and said dagger guides him into Duncan’s room before vanishing. While following the dagger, Macbeth says to himself, “I see thee yet, in form as palpable /As this which now I draw. /Thou marshall’st me the way that I was going; /And such an instrument I was to use.” (2.1.47-50) The dagger strengthens Macbeth’s conviction to murder the king. The dagger prompts Macbeth to hold its handle, guides him to Duncan’s room, and splotches of blood materialize to confirm that the king will die. Therefore, the actions…show more content…
Lastly, the motif of prophecy emphasizes the theme of ambition. The first prophecy from the three witches illustrates this. The witches reveal to Macbeth that he will be the thane of Cawdor and the future king of Scotland. They say to Macbeth, “All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!” (I, iii, 49-51) The prophecy from the three witches influences Macbeth, making him believe that he can become king of Scotland. All doubt is removed from Macbeth’s mind. He knows that the prophecy will become true; that he will eventually become king. Macbeth’s ambition is realized here, because since he now knows that his efforts to become king will not fail, he can resort to methods such as murder. Macbeth believes in the witches’ prophecies, so he asks them for a second vision. This second vision also represents Macbeth’s ambition. Macbeth asks the witches to reveal possible threats, and becomes reassured when he hears the prophecy. He says, “And take a bond of fate. Thou shalt not live, That I may tell pale-hearted fear it lies, And sleep in spite of thunder.” (IV, i, 87-89) The second prophecy symbolizes Macbeth’s desire to maintain his position as king. Macbeth knows that the witches’ prediction will come true due to his experience with the first prophecy. Nevertheless, he asks about his downfall to try and prevent it. Macbeth’s ambition to become king is so strong that he will try to twist destiny satisfy his ambition. The three witches’ prophecies strengthen Macbeth’s ambition. They remove all doubt from his mind and guarantees success, and also makes Macbeth try to change his fate to stay as

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