Importance Of Ambition In Shakespeare

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3. THE UNDERSTANDING OF AMBITION IN SHAKESPEARE’S AGE In today’s world, ambition is considered a positive characteristic of people as it is defined in the English Oxford Dictionary as “a strong desire to do or achieve something”. It means a person wants to achieve or obtain success, power, honor, wealth or accomplish a specific goal. Hence, ambition is a center of our aims and a deep desire for some type of accomplishment and it inspires people to realize their dreams. Today, ambition is respected as a strong quality of a person and it is essential for success. Being called ambitious is a compliment since an ambitious person wants to succeed, and they manage to do so with hard work. Therefore, I can conclude that ambition is now used as a positive trait, whereas in the Renaissance ambition took on a completely different meaning. Being ambitious was something to dislike or even fear, thus it was used with a negative connotation. In the Renaissance, precisely in the Elizabethan age, ambition may have been frowned upon. People had God to believe in, and the Queen. In those times, ambition has more…show more content…
Thus, to be clear, when Shakespeare wrote of his characters’ ambition, he was not speaking of their positive desire of achieving something great or a goal they were striving to reach, instead, he was referring to their appetite for power. The protagonists in his tragedies wanted as much power as they can obtain. They wanted to become more powerful than anything else did. This is extremely corrupting, thus, in this context; ambition is a negative characteristic of someone’s character. In William Shakespeare’s plays, we see perfectly clear that ambition was not a positive trait in the Renaissance. In a way, it is possible that people thought of ambition as something negative since they had not seen the positive effects of someone striving for
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