What Is Lady Macbeth's Ambition

689 Words3 Pages
The Tragedy of Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, is an expressive and enticing play that is set in the country of Scotland. Macbeth, the main character, allows his pride and greed to provoke him to take drastic measures in order to obtain what he desires, without contemplating the results of his actions. A prominent theme within the story is the unfailing ambition evidenced continuously through the characteristics, actions, and words of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. To begin, the various characteristics of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth display their ambitious, yet somewhat hidden, desires. Due to his position as a nobleman and Thane, Macbeth is an esteemed and trusted hero among his people. The current positions he possesses provoke him…show more content…
This idea is supported in Act I when Macbeth admits, “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erlaps itself and falls on th’ other.” (Scn vii, Ln 25-28) Although King Duncan has failed to act in a manner worthy of murder, Macbeth explains that he carries out the deed as a way to quench his zeal for great authority. Also, Lady Macbeth voices her opinion of her husband, while simultaneously addressing his violent plan. This concept is expressed through Lady Macbeth’s words, “Thou wouldst be great, are not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it.” (Act I, Scn v, Ln 18-20) Lady Macbeth is aware of the vigor that her husband possesses; however, she does not believe it equips him to carry out an act as immense as murder. Due to her expression of his inability, it is obvious that Lady Macbeth feels the need to assist her husband in order to secure the position she seeks. The words of these characters support the belief that both are filled with an abundance of ambition. Through the evidence previously stated, the reader can observe that the predominant theme in The Tragedy of Macbeth is the ability that ambition has to consume and overwhelm whoever possesses it. The zealous characteristics that define and describe both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth explain why they
Open Document