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).
After being responsible for the deaths of two people, Duncan and Banquo, Macbeth is in a state where he feels the need to keep murdering people that could possibly get in his way of becoming king. Macbeth exclaims his internal battle when planning for the death of Macduff: “I am in blood, Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,” (3.4 141-143). When Macbeth says this he is expressing that he feels so far into this game of murder, and Shakespeare dramatically describes this as Macbeth figuratively, being in blood. Macbeth believes that he has “waded” so far into this blood that it would not make sense for him to stop, but to keep murdering anyone that could prevent him from becoming king. Macbeth and his men are not successful in killing Macduff, but do kill Macduff’s wife and son.
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.
He says “I have no spur / To prick the sides of my intent, but only / Vaulting ambition which o’erleaps itself / And falls on th’other”(ActⅠScene ⅶ) Macbeth has enough self-awareness to realize the dangers of killing the king yet his temptation to complete the prophecy is too strong. Another example of ambition is when Lady Macbeth plans the murder of Duncan and continually urges Macbeth to do it in order to fulfill the prophecy and desire. Lady Macbeth puts aside her reasoning and lets her temptation run her actions. Ambition is what drives the both of them to commit such atrocities. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth wanted to be powerful so bad that they were willing to compromise their morals in order to be successful.
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.
Scar had a jealous conscience and dark deep desires since Simba was the heir to the throne. Thus he wanted to murder Mufasa and Simba to seize the position. He murders Mufasa but Simba survived, Scar then advised Simba to run away, declaring he was responsible for the tragic death of his father and to never come back, like this he would not disturb his reign. The fervor for power led Scar to murder his own brother who was the king were horrendous actions shaped by power. Once Scar reigned he did as he pleased with his reign, at the end, there was no water or food left it to turn into an eerie place plenty of evilness.
He has become king and now will not be usurped of his power, at least not without a fight. Macbeth’s desire for control stimulates his violent behavior. He is willing to do anything to anyone who tries to get in his way, and lady Macbeth is to come up plans and make sure they go as planed, and is willing to do anything to keep her husband Macbeth as king even if it means murder after murder. Macbeth starts to get to violent and decides to hire people to kill certain people who are a threat. Lady Macbeth is not aware of these plans and finds out about them and is overwhelmed.
As tragic as Macbeth becomes through the play, his paranoia is also a factor that leads to his ultimate downfall, morally and physically. Macbeth, now a traitor after the assassination of the king, is paranoid of anybody who may threaten his position or how he attained it. After killing the king, Macbeth’s conscience is guilt-ridden and he is no longer able to sleep peacefully. His only worry is that someone may be plotting his murder, just as he strategized the death of the former King. If there was nothing stopping Macbeth from killing Duncan and committing treason, who is to say that no one else will make the same decision, killing Macbeth?
They mock him, taunting him about how far he has fallen. He responds in anger, wanting to hear more prophecies. He obviously feels more entitled now, and his ambition has thoroughly succeeded in corrupting him to the point of no return. He is now king; his friend (though, in his eyes as of late, his enemy,) Banquo, is dead and out of the way; and he is on a mission to kill any others who stand in his way and jeopardize his crown. The witches inform him that none of women born will kill him, but Macbeth still insists that he will kill not only Macduff, but his entire family and staff, just to be on the safe side of things.
How far can the lusting of power drive one innocent man? William Shakespeare composed a classic drama entitled “The Tragedy of Macbeth”, which took place in Scotland. Throughout the play, Macbeth attempted to gain power by becoming king. Although he succeeded, the process definitely led him down a path of destruction. Ambition highly influenced many of the characters: Macbeth was willing to do anything to get to the throne, Lady Macbeth was even more eager to become queen, and finally Macduff abandoned his family for Scotland.