Essay about Vaulting Ambition in Shakespeare's Macbeth
2207 Words9 Pages
Vaulting Ambition in Macbeth
Can one expect to find in Shakespeare's tragic play Macbeth a heavy dose of ambition? Yes, indeed. Such a heavy dose that it is lethal - as we shall see in this paper.
Clark and Wright in their Introduction to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare interpret the main theme of the play as intertwining with evil and ambition:
While in Hamlet and others of Shakespeare's plays we feel that Shakespeare refined upon and brooded over his thoughts, Macbeth seems as if struck out at a heat and imagined from first to last with rapidity and power, and a subtlety of workmanship which has become instructive. The theme of the drama is the gradual ruin through yielding to evil within and evil…show more content…
. .] to have seen Banquo's ghost at the banqueting table ... and persisted in her fierce mocking of her husband's terror would have been impossible to human nature. The hypothesis makes Lady Macbeth a monster, and there is no such thing in all Shakespeare's plays. That she is godless, and ruthless in the pursuit of the objects of her ambition, does not make her such. (118)
In "Memoranda: Remarks on the Character of Lady Macbeth," Sarah Siddons mentions the ambition of Lady Macbeth and its effect:
[Re "I have given suck" (1.7.54ff.)] Even here, horrific as she is, she shews herself made by ambition, but not by nature, a perfectly savage creature. The very use of such a tender allusion in the midst of her dreadful language, persuades one unequivocally that she has really felt the maternal yearnings of a mother towards her babe, and that she considered this action the most enormous that ever required the strength of human nerves for its perpetration. Her language to Macbeth is the most potently eloquent that guilt could use. (56)
The Tragedy of Macbeth opens in a desert place with thunder and lightning and three Witches who are anticipating their meeting with Macbeth, "There to meet with Macbeth." They all say together the mysterious and contradictory "Fair is foul, and foul is fair." King Duncan learns that "brave Macbeth" and Banquo are bravely resisting the "Norweyan banners" and the rebellious Thane of Cawdor. When these forces are
Macbeth’s Hamartia Is His Vaulting AmbitionGet Your
Starting at Just $13.90 a page
Macbeth’s hamartia is his vaulting ambition William Shakespeare wrote a tragedy of a man’s ambition. In the text, Macbeth is described as a man who has ambitions of becoming king. After the first part of the prophecy by the witches whom he has met returning from battle comes true, he begins to think the second part may also come true. The witches have predicted that Macbeth would first become Thane of Cawdor and then king of Scotland. Encouraged by his wife, Lady Macbeth, he murders King Duncan who stays as a guest in his castle.
Macbeth then becomes king of Scotland. Ambition becomes the enemy of all life especially that of the ambitious man which Macbeth certainly is. In the text it seems that Macbeth’s lifelong ambition has been fulfilled, this lifelong ambition leads to consequences that his mind cannot handle. Macbeth’s desire to gain wealth and status completely overpowers him. Macbeth becomes more ambitious as his wife and the witches make him question himself and his desires. Lady Macbeth is the biggest encouragement to his ambition.
Lady Macbeth urges him to act on his desires or he will think of himself as a coward. She then makes sure he will perform the deed by taking an active role in preparing for the murder. She spikes the drinks of Duncan’s guards to knock them out and tells Macbeth that she will be there to clean the daggers after the deed is done. Although Macbeth becomes king of Scotland after killing King Duncan, he cannot have peace. Duncan’s sons escape to England and try to avenge their father.
Also, the witches predict that his friend Banquo’s descendants will be kings of Scotland. Macbeth orders his men to kill Banquo and his son. During the course of the play, Macbeth changes from a person with some moral sense to a man who will stop at nothing to get and keep what he wants. By the play’s end, he has lost all emotion. He cannot even react to his wife’s death saying that life is only a tale told by an idiot. In Macbeth, ambition is the fatal flaw that causes his downfall.
The play shows that one may get easily influenced by other people when he/ she is over ambitions. After becoming king, his endless ambitions lead him into misery and tragic ending. Being obsessed by the witches’ prophecy, he even tries to control his future, Macbeth considers Banquo and his son Fleance as threats to his security as King. Although it seems he is friendly to Banquo, Macbeth is jealous and fearful of him. Throughout the play, it is Macbeth’s ambition that destroys his good nature and forces him to break all moral boundaries.
Until he meets the three witches, he is loyal to his king, to his wife, and to his friends. If he had not desired to become king, the three withes’ prophecy would not have changed his life. All of the problems start to develop when he decides to murder Duncan. He commits the murder because he is too ambitious. If he weren’t so ambitious and determined to become king, he would not have to kill Duncan. After all, the witches’ prophecy influences his fate by turning his ambition into a tragic reality.
Although he is initially led to evil by the witches’ prophecy, he does not hesitate to commit crime. After killing Duncan, he kills Banquo and Macduff’s family. Macduff flees to England and then gathers an army to overthrow Macbeth. At the end of the play, Macduff kills Macbeth in battle. Duncan’s son, Malcolm then becomes the king of Scotland. If Macbeth patiently waited for his time, he would have become king peacefully and have had a chance to enjoy it.
Author: Kimber Trivett
Macbeth’s Hamartia Is His Vaulting Ambition
We have so large base of authors that we can prepare a unique summary of any book. Don't believe? Check it!
How fast would you like to get it?