Dichotomy Between Ambition And Guilt In Macbeth

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The dichotomy between ambition and guilt are universal moral issues, affecting the most tragic of heroes. Shakespeare’s play, “Macbeth”, composed in the Jacobean era, explores the corrupting influence of guilt, which ironically leads to immorality rather than repentance. This can be seen through Macbeth’s invalidation of his own guilt, spurred by his wife’s manipulation, which drive him to insanity as a result of the consequences of his ambitious deeds. However, Macbeth’s guilt also indicates the internal struggle between lust for power and guilty conscience, demonstrating his humanity being slowly eroded by external forces such as fate and prophecy. Therefore, deterministic forces act as the catalyst for humanistic choices, exposing his hamartia, which …show more content…

The witches, supernatural harbingers of chaos, drive Macbeth’s purpose and spark his unchecked ambition, inciting deadly desires, responsible for the downfall of the once noble and valiant warrior. Through their prophecies at the start of the play, Macbeth discovers that his fate lies with the crown, a seemingly glorious fantasy, yet is in reality, a poisonous ploy to destroy him. This is demonstrated through use of pathetic fallacy, “In thunder, lightning, or in rain?”, foreshadowing the supernatural turmoil which is to lead to Macbeth’s demise. Additionally, “Ere the set of sun…there to meet Macbeth”, alludes to the idea that darkness is to overpower and cloud Macbeth’s sense of morality on meeting with the witches, causing further irrational decisions. “Fair is foul and foul is fair”, sets the tone for the theme of appearance vs reality, an ironic sentiment since the Macbeth’s goal after the murder of Duncan was to “look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under't”, yet the person being truly deceived was Macbeth himself, by the witches

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