- Published: January 25, 2022
- Updated: January 25, 2022
- University / College: Arizona State University
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- Language: English
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A Theme related to Ambition
Macbeth is a play written by William Shakespeare. The play is full of actions, suspense and ideologies. The major theme in the play is the theme of ambition and it relates to the theme of temptation. Shakespeare mainly informs the audience that ambition and temptation are very dangerous when they are not controlled by moral values. Ambition and temptation can destroy people and nations. This message is expressed in two characters, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth who were very ambitious and tempted but later their ambition led to their demise.
Spencer asserts that this act of temptation due to ambition works out throughout the play (19). For instance, when Macbeth received the prophecies, for the first time from the witches, he was tempted to kill Duncan even though he thought that the idea was wrong. Macbeth therefore sent a letter to his wife about the prophecies (Brooke 12). His wife took a direct approach of the matter and urged him to kill Duncan in order to satisfy their ambition of staying in power.
Therefore, she also urged her husband to kill all people who they thought posed a threat to their staying in power. The temptation of killing in order to satisfy their ambition later led to their destruction. Ambition is therefore presented as a very dangerous quality in the play. It caused the downfall of the Lady Macbeth and Macbeth and triggered a series of death in the play (Shakespeare 21). Ambition is therefore related to temptation because they were tempted to commit murder in order to satisfy their ambition. The two act as the major the driving force in the play.
Throughout the play, temptation of doing bad deeds develops due to ambition of staying in power. Ambition is defined as a strong aspiration to achieve something. In the play, ambition and temptation is developed throughout the play as Macbeth strives to make himself a king and prevent the occurrence of fate. Ambition is present in both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. They struggle and are tempted to commit dreadful deeds but later the ambition turns to obsession. Actually, there is no doubt about the ambition Macbeth and Lady Macbeth have. When he was assured that he would become a king, his desire was aroused and therefore leading to his temptation of killing Duncan (Shakespeare & Gill 34). Her wife on the other hand, is driven with the desire thus urging him to murder anyone who may hinder them from being in power.
Ambition and temptation plays a key factor in the decision of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth of killing Duncan. Macbeth was aware that his ambition was very strong and realized the dangers it could cause. Even though he was aware of the dangers, the temptation to carry out the prophecy from the witches was too strong for him to curb his ambition. According to the play, Lady Macbeth is also ambitious and hopeful. When Macbeth expressed his doubt on murdering Duncan, she claims, “ was the hope drunk, wherein you dressed yourself?” Lady Macbeth urged Macbeth to go ahead and kill Duncan thinking that he was actually hindering them from being in power. Unfortunately, after engaging in the dreadful deeds, Lady Macbeth was unable to cope with the fierce consequences. At the end, the play series of deaths occurred due to ambition and temptation. Ambition and temptation therefore proved fatal to both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
Shakespeare expresses how ambition can lead to destruction when it becomes too strong to bear. Ambition causes temptation that later leads to suffering due its adverse consequences. The book therefore elaborates how ambition caused the downfall of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth leading to their death. They never stopped doing wrong things in order to succeed in life and this is what actually led to their downfall.
Brooke, Nicholas. The Tragedy of Macbeth. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998. Print.
Spencer Charles. Charles Spencer reviews Macbeth at the Gielgud Theatre. 2007. Web. Accessed on 17th November 2011.
William Shakespeare & Gill Roma. Macbeth: Oxford School Shakespeare. Oxford University Press, USA, 2009. Print.
William Shakespeare. Macbeth. New York: Simon & Brown Publishers, 2011. Print.
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