Macbeth Unchecked Ambition Analysis

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Unchecked ambition is known for disastrous results. When power becomes too much to handle, we often forget that we have the option to step back and think about our choices. This idea is strongly represented throughout the play Macbeth written by William Shakespeare. The audience can clearly see the measurable difference in character that Macbeth has underwent because of his unchecked ambition. For example, near the beginning of the play in Act Ⅰ, Macbeth ,although making some uneasy decisions, still keeps his conscience in sight. However, as the play progresses, Macbeth slowly drift away from his moral sense until he is short sighted and impulsive (as demonstrated in Act Ⅳ).

Towards the beginning of the play, Macbeth’s conscience is able
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Duncan is a noble man with a good heart, and he has taken an unusually large liking to Macbeth. With the game of favorites having to be taken into account, Macbeth decides that if he is to go through with this decision, he will not be the one that actually commits the crime. However, Macbeth is still unsure as to whether he wants Duncan to be killed or not. Macbeth’s use of juxtaposition of light and dark diction (“knife” vs. “angels” [Ⅰ, 7, 16 & 19]) showcases that he is still hesitant. Macbeth wants the title of the king to be his, but he feels uneasy with the way he has to go about getting it. It’s almost as if there 's a war going on in his head between an angle and a devil, feeding him their influential opinions and fogging his decisions. Also, within this section of the speech, there is an unusually large amount of religious reference, such as “angels” and “trumpet-tongued” (Ⅰ, 7, 19). During this time period, kings were considered to be divine and God-like, chosen from God himself. This means that killing Duncan would be like killing God. Macbeth would obviously not want that on his conscience, and as Duncan’s host, he should be protecting him not trying to kill him. Towards the end of this section, a simile is used, comparing the pity that people would feel after Duncan’s death to a “new-born babe” (Ⅰ, 7, 21). Their love for him is so…show more content…
Macbeth is able to portray this sense of conclusiveness in part due to the motif of time. Using phrases such as “of late”, “so soon” and “now” (Ⅰ, 7, 32 & 34 & 35) he conveys how his decision is time-sensitive and must be resolved in a short period of time. The waiting and suspense are tearing away at Macbeth 's brain as he struggles to come to a conclusive answer. Ultimately he just wants to make up his mind to have this inner war be over with so he can attain some level of peace again. Then, when talking with Lady Macbeth, he uses the phrase “golden opinions” (Ⅰ, 7, 33), which is a continuation of the religious diction that Macbeth had used in the previous section. However, in this context instead of applying it to king Duncan, he applies it to the common people. Macbeth values the thoughts of the them and decides that he cannot risk his upholding image. This remark, although brief, is powerful on Macbeth. It shows how different his views on the everyday person become. The tool of personification is also used when describing how “vaulting ambition” (Ⅰ, 7, 27) leads people to make reckless decisions. Macbeth does not want to be rash in his final decision, because he knows how others have suffered for this very reason. Making a decision simple based on impulse is something Macbeth tries to steer
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