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Paranoia And Ambition In Macbeth

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At the beginning of the play Macbeth is portrayed as a good, brave knight who is loyal to his king. However, upon hearing the prophecies of the witches, a dark, ambitious nature awakens within him – one that proves to be fatal. In Act I Scene iii, Macbeth says, “If good, why do I yield to that suggestion […] and make my sealed heart knock at my ribs” – implying that though at first he is horrified at the notion of murdering Duncan, it is an idea that he is willing to consider. Before he sends news of the recent events to his wife, Macbeth commands the stars to “hide [their] fires” so that no one can see his “black and deep” desires. (Act I, scene iv). Later on, when he finally becomes king, he starts to worry about the witches’ last prediction – that Banquo’s sons will one day take the throne. He is no longer satisfied with just being the king and now wants his legacy to continue. This dangerous combination of paranoia and ambition plays a significant role in sparking the chain of events that would lead to his own downfall.…show more content…
He immediately accepts what the witches tells him in Act I Scene iii, and once the first of their predictions comes true he says “The greatest is behind” – believing that the best part was indeed yet to come. He asks Banquo “Do you not hope your children shall be kings / When those that gave the thane of Cawdor to me / Promised no less to them?” Banquo, evidently the more rational of the two, imparts some wise words upon Macbeth - “And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, / The instruments of darkness tell us truths, / Win us with honest trifles, to betray ’s / In deepest consequence.” Banquo does not get his hopes up as he thinks the witches are deceiving them, but his words do not discourage Macbeth, whose blind trust in the witches will only lead him to a path of
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