Macbeth Essay

657 words - 3 pages

From Ambition to InsanityBy: Sahar MannAmbition is defined as a strong desire to do or achieve something.Yet if one is overly ambitious, they become obsessed with their goal anddo everything in their strength to protect it. When ambition is used togain power it is abused and corrupted, causing destruction in one'smind and the natural order. William Shakespeare explores the conceptof unchecked ambition in his play Macbeth which reveals power thirstyhumans as they overuse ambition, sacrifice lives to protect their power,and at the end suffer extreme consequences.Macbeth's uncontrollable ambition to gain power began with aprophecy given to him by the witches. The prophecy "All hail, Macbeth,that shalt be king. . . ." (1.3.50) Unlocks his lust for this grand title. Giventhis prophecy, Macbeth feels entitled to the position of the king ofScotland. However, when Duncan appoints Malcolm Prince ofCumberland, Macbeth begins to have "black and deep desires." (1.4.50).He must overcome this choice made by Duncan, and immediatelyMacbeth thinks of murder to obtain the role of king. Yet Lady Macbethfears Macbeth ". . .is too full o' th' milk of human kindness. . . ." (1.5.17)to act on these dark thoughts. Instead she asks spirits to"Stop up th' access and passage to remorse,That no compunctious visitings of natureShake my fell purpose. . . ." (1.5.44-46)Lady Macbeth asks nature to take away her emotions so she canperform cruel deeds to achieve the power she is striving for withoutfeeling any guilt towards her actions. The great lust for power held byMacbeth and Lady Macbeth leads them to act recklessly towards theirambition.Once Macbeth and Lady Macbeth gain the power they desired,they continued their sadistic actions to maintain this power. Aftermurdering Duncan, Macbeth does not hesitate to organize these cruelactions because he no longer consists of human emotions; "[his] natureseems dead. . . ." (2.1.51). His vicious actions to preserve his powerbegin with the murder of Banquo. For ". . .[Banquo's] being [is whatMacbeth] fears....

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