Unchecked Ambition In Macbeth

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Ambition is a natural part of human existence, every person has it at least a little. It is when ambition grows too large and takes control of us that it becomes dangerous. It becomes obsessive and soon nothing will stop the person obsessed. Just by looking around at our world today, one can clearly see the results of unchecked ambition. Unchecked ambition can be destructive to a society and cause the society's downfall. One clear example of unchecked ambition can be found in The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Shakespeare uses a few characters to display the dangerous nature of unchecked ambition throughout the acts of the play. However, the main character, Macbeth, clearly shows the most. Although Macbeth begins as a courageous, …show more content…

The next step the reader sees of Macbeth’s growing ambition is in Act II. Macbeth is writing a letter to his wife informing her of the prophecies made by the Weird Sisters, and also of the King’s intentions to visit their household that evening. Reading this, Lady Macbeth promptly concocts a plan to murder the King in their household. That night, Macbeth tries to draw off the plan, “We will proceed no further in this business” (1.7.31). This shows that Macbeth’s ambition has not become so strong as to kill someone, nonetheless, this does not last long. Lady Macbeth easily convinces Macbeth to proceed and King Duncan is killed. While waiting for Macbeth to return from the king’s chamber, Lady Macbeth shows some of her own ambition, “That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold” (2.2.1). By successfully pressing drink upon the guards, Lady Macbeth is emboldened. Success turns many people overly ambitious, by seeing what the human race is capable of changes many people into power hungry ants. Lady Macbeth is one clear example of this fault. Once the word gets out that the king has been killed, the suspicion falls onto Malcolm and Donalbain, King Duncan’s sons. Malcolm and Donalbain were smart enough to realize one of their close friends must have murdered their father and they immediately flee. Because of this, the suspicion falls onto the princes. Outside the household, Ross discusses with Macduff his thoughts on Malcolm and Donalbain, “Gainst nature still! Thriftless ambition, that will ravin up Thine own lives’ means” (2.4.27-29). Ross firmly believes the murder is caused out of ambition since the princes would benefit the most in the king’s death. Ross recognizes how sad it is that relatives are killing each other for persona gain. Ross does not know it yet, but what he is saying is true, though it does not concern Malcolm and Donalbain. It is true

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