Macbeth Vaulting Ambition Analysis

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William Shakespeare’s Macbeth was first performed for King James I of England and VI of Scotland in 1606. James was descended from Banquo’s line, and through which he had become king. Shakespeare told the story of Macbeth with minor alterations to the historical tale; one such change was he portrayed Banquo as innocent and uninvolved in King Duncan’s murder. This left the blame entirely on Macbeth. Macbeth goes on to commit many murders throughout the play, but to what extent were these murders a result of Macbeth’s ‘Vaulting Ambition’? The phrase ‘vaulting ambition’ comes from Act I, Scene VII, from Macbeth’s soliloquy. He attempts to rationalize his future actions – committing regicide and assassinating King Duncan. To a Stuart audience like the one the play was first performed to, regicide was the worst crime a person could commit. This is a result of the belief in the Divine Right of Kings. The belief says that a king was chosen by God, and hence a crime against a royal was a crime against God himself. Macbeth acknowledges this, as he describes how ‘tears shall drown the wind’; even nature would cry if Duncan was killed. He also speaks of ‘this bank and shoal of time’. This could be in reference to the river…show more content…
However, this is not the first time the witches have mentioned Macbeth. The third Witch mentions in Act I, scene I, that the next time the three will meet, shall be to meet with Macbeth. This would all occur after ‘the battles lost, and won’. While this could be in reference to the battle in which Macbeth is fighting for Duncan against Norway, it could also be in reference to a metaphorical battle for Macbeth’s soul. This association also is shown in Macbeth’s unwitting echo of the witches ‘so foul and fair a day I have not seen’. This suggests that the Witches are heavily influencing Macbeth. However, it is the predictions they make that show the influence they

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