‘Macbeth’s ambition is his only weakness’. Do you agree? Macbeth’s greatest weakness is his ambition, but it is also his greatest strength. Despite his ambition being one of his major weaknesses, it is not his sole weakness he exhibits that contributes to his inevitable death.
Macbeth’s ambition is one of the most prominent things that drive Macbeth in the play and truly becomes evident when he hears of the Witches prophecies. When the witches stop talking, he demands to know more. “Stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more” (I, III, 73-74). This portrays his excessive curiosity on the subject as well as his craving for more desirable prophecies. This ambitious nature and craving for power is also demonstrated only moments after hearing the witches, when he starts formulating a plan to kill Duncan in order to make the third prophecy come true.
The namesake of the play, “Macbeth” is a man who faced a decision between his own personal passion and his moral obligations and duties. The two choices pulled at him and seemed to torment him even after he made a decision. Through the conflict that Macbeth felt because of his decisions, the reader can better empathize with him, and can obtain a more profound lesson from the story concerning decisions between personal passions and moral obligations.
Macbeth was an honorable and loyal soldier to King Duncan. As he stumbled upon the three witches and hearing their predictions. He began to question his future when King Duncan had given a higher rank to his son Malcolm. As if Malcolm was to become king Macbeth’s second prophecy of him becoming king wouldn’t come true or at least it would take a longer time for him to be king. His ambitions toward the crown grew and it slowly but surely began to corrupt his mind.
The first act of cruelty that contributes to Macbeth’s downfall is the murder of Duncan. After contemplating the consequences associated with planning the murder, Macbeth kills Duncan, convinced that it is the only way he can become king. Following the murder, Macbeth becomes overwhelmed with shock and begins to experience auditory hallucinations. Upon experiencing shock, Macbeth is unaware that he brings back the daggers from the crime. Commanded by Lady Macbeth to return the daggers to the scene, he claims, “I am afraid to think what I have done.”
Our power is ready; our lack is nothing but our leave. Macbeth is ripe for shaking, and the powers above put on their instruments.” (Act iv, scn iii, ln 243-246) Macduff was certain that Macbeth would be destroyed and Malcolm would become King of Scotland. As Macbeth’s leadership demolished more lives, Macduff’s ambition to take down Macbeth grew stronger.
Lady Macbeth puts on a fierce and intimidating front but proves incapable of the egregious act of murder. Macbeth, however, actually commits murder and determines to do any vile deed to fight for the crown. He holds this disposition even until the point of death, unlike Lady Macbeth who dies repentant. Macbeth’s murderous actions and attitude prior to death ultimately demonstrate that he is the worse villain of the
Iago and Desdemona are stark contrasts to one another, acting as opposing forces in Emilia’s life. Iago consistently lies in order to further his own agenda and manipulates many of the characters in the play. Iago’s hatred for Othello motivates him and Othello compares him to the “devil” (5.2.337). On the other hand, Desdemona’s love for Othello motivates her to leave her father, Brabantio, and marry Othello. Desdemona remains honest and faithful to Othello throughout the play and Emilia calls her an “angel” (5.2.161).
Perhaps even more gruesome and revolting is when Macbeth becomes furious with Macduff’s treason and says, “I’ll put a sword to his wife, children and all unfortunate souls who might follow him.” Macbeth is so delusional to keep his power that he is willing to kill an innocent family to preserve his throne. Macbeth ends up killing Macduff’s entire family, and this leads to Macduff vowing to get vengeance against Macbeth for his cowardly actions. This shows the impact that power had on Macbeth, and the fear of Macbeth that changed peoples’ lives
This tragic loss completely breaks Macbeth and all his internal defenses. By the time of battle, Macbeth does not see the “point” in fighting anymore, this vulnerability leads to his execution by Macduff. By having this unhealthy mindset, with no sign of mercy, Macbeth lashes out over paranoia, and with
These provocative predictions were the prophecies that the witches told, the murder of Duncan, Banquo and Macduff’s entire family. Once being a good man that simply committed evils, he evolved into the figure we associate his name with today as a bloody tale of a tyrant. As a play that has survived through the ages, Macbeth teaches the lesson of not fulfilling ambition through heinous means and that even a good and just man can succumb to his
Throughout the play Othello’s blind trust in Iago led him to a perplexed state in which he was vulnerable to flaws that he did not usually struggle with. In a perplexed state Othello “becomes jealous and eventually a murderer” (Kliger 222). Without Othello’s blind trust in Iago Othello would never have become perplexed and would not have led to flaws that resulted in the murder of Desdemona. Othello recognized his growing problem as he said “There is no more but this: Away at once with love or jealousy” and yet Othello was still unable to shake his jealousy as Iago kept feeding him lies (Shakespeare III.iii.222-223). Othello became so jealous that he began to think he would be “happy if the general camp, pioneers and all, had tasted her sweet body, so [he] had nothing known” (Shakespeare III.iii.397-400).
Lady Macbeth plays a key part in driving Macbeth’s motivations and encourages Macbeth to overcome his strong sense of guilt and take action on the prophecies. Lady Macbeth tells Macbeth that he is “green” (I.VII.40) and “a coward” (I.VII.46) and that he resembles the proverbial “poor cat”. (I.VII.48) The willingness of Lady Macbeth to reach the epitome of betrayal is displaced that heightens the understanding of the overpowering and strong nature of Lady Macbeth as well as the deep and murderous motivations she wishes to impose on her husband. Shakespeare exposes to the audience to the persuasive and emotive techniques Lady Macbeth uses to manipulate and drive Macbeth's motivations. This
Macbeth’s mental state changes by him starting off as a man with good intentions, but overwhelming greed and ambition cause him to become evil and a murderer. At first Macbeth was a noble thane to the king who obeyed his every command, and therefore not a single wrong thought crossed Macbeth’s mind about potentially committing murder or any other other evil act. However, Macbeth had a weakness in his character, that was the fact that he was easily manipulated by the people closest to him and eventually his own ambition and greed caused his downfall. The next section shows a shift in Macbeth’s focus. Macbeth recognizes the fragility of life and how it lasts for a very short time.
In William Shakespeare’s Othello the two main characters are Iago and Othello. The entire story centers around Iago 's plan to achieve revenge on Othello for not promoting him to lieutenant. Throughout the story Iago tries to convince Othello that his wife Desdemona has cheated on him with his lieutenant Cassio. Iago’s plan is successfully and easily executed. Othello is tricked into believing that desdemona has been unfaithful and in the end he kills her.