Ambition In Shakespeare's Macbeth

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In today’s society many people possess strong ambition when it comes to getting a job, following a passion and being immensely successful in life. Having an abundance of aspirations can have both successful and faulty outcomes depending on the situation and how individuals respond to the circumstance. For example, in the play **Macbeth written by Shakespeare, a prime example of an excessive amount of ambition is displayed through both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s actions. Essentially, Macbeth becomes power hungry and goes on a rampant killing spree that causes Lady Macbeth and Macbeth to be overcome with guilt. They both contain an excessive amount of desires due to their ultimate goal being for Macbeth to be crowned king. However, throughout…show more content…
Furthermore, Lady Macbeth has a strong desire to neglect all of her femininity in order to gain strength and power. With these qualities she believes she will hold more power over Macbeth and his potential shot at becoming the king will be in her control. Once again, Lady Macbeth wants to rid all of her femininity, “I have given suck, and know how tender ‘tis that loves the babe that milks me: I would, while it was smiling in my face, have pluck’d my nimple from his bonless gums, and dash’d the brains out, had I so sworn as you have done to this” (1.7.30-32.) This quote shows Lady Macbeth’s ability to get rid of every ounce of femininity she posses. She is explaining how she had once loved a baby, but would kill him in a heartbeat for Macbeth and his potential success as king. Furthermore, this shows both Lady Macbeth's ambition that she's channeling through Macbeth and also her evil. Overall, Lady Macbeth has one goal--gain an abundance of power. To add, she does not let anything get in her way, including her femininity to achieve this goal.. To add, expert sources also agree that Lady Macbeth was willing to go to extreme lengths to achieve masculinity: “Lady Macbeth’s desire for power is matched by a murderous determination to achieve it. She associates ambition with both masculinity and cruelty, and she calls upon evil spirits to take away from her such feminine virtues as mercy and tenderness,…show more content…
Macbeth is also a power hungry man who would do just about anything to achieve his goal of becoming King. When Macbeth first hears the prophecies from the three witches he instantly became invested with the journey to become king. Similar to Lady Macbeth, nothing was going to come between him and his potential power, “My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, shakes so my single state of man. That function is smother'd in surmise, and nothing is but what is not” (1.3.52-55). This quote exemplifies how Macbeth’s initial solution to becoming king was murder. Right from the beginning his desires took him over which led to his quick decision of his killing spree and the everlasting effects that coincided with it. Overall, this quote portrays the amount of ambition that he contains and also foreshadows the many deaths in the plot that will eventually lead to his downfall. Furthermore, Lady Macbeth was not just an innocent stand byer during these murders, she was a key pawn in all the action. In fact, she urged Macbeth to kill King Duncan which portrayed her utmost amount of power she held over Macbeth, “O, proper stuff! This is the very painting of your fear.This is the air-drawn dagger which you said led you to Duncan. O, these flaws and starts, impostors to true fear, would well become a woman's story at a winter's fire, authorized by her
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