Importance of Ambition In the play, Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, it is evident that ambition plays a very important role in the play. Ambition is when someone has a strong desire for success, achievement, or a goal. It is a motivating factor that drives one towards success. This is a big part of this specific play. Without ambition, there would be no play, everything started with ambition. Ambition is important to the play because throughout the play Macbeth does everything to secure his position on the throne.
Also Lady Macbeth drives Macbeth to action to kill King Duncan. The witches also play on Macbeth’s ambition. Furthermore, Macduff has ambition to kill Macbeth after Macbeth murdered his family and lastly, each murder in the play, has part of ambition. Firstly, it is clear that ambition is important to the Macbeth play because throughout most of the play, Macbeth does everything to protect his position on the throne. This demonstrates ambition because Macbeth is willing to do anything to protect his power.
…For mine own good/ All causes shall give way; I am in blood/ Stepp’d in so far, that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o’er. ” (3, 4, 166-169) As this quote demonstrates Macbeth, suggests that once you murder you cannot stop, hence the reason it is so easy from him to continue to murder. Macbeth became power-hungry, which drove him to do anything, to keep any power he had. Macbeth sent assassins to kill Banquo, a dear friend of his, because he was a so called threat. Even though Banquo was the man who would never become king, but his kids would.
Macbeth shows fear in this situation, because he feels that Banquo is a threat to his throne, which led to Banquo being murdered. This proves ambition because he had the drive to take action on a situation where he felt threatened. He has a goal to keep his throne and is not planning on giving it up anytime soon. This is important because it gives emphasis on the fact that Macbeth’s ambition is strong and will do anything to overcome and control the throne. In addition, Macbeth goes down fighting; this shows ambition because he is motivated to keep his power. He has something to fight for, and that is power.
Macbeth never thought of suicide, he always thought he was better than all, and that he could win, fighting alone. “Why should I play the Roman fool, and die / On mine own sword? whiles I see lives, the gashes/ Do better upon them. ” (5, 8, 1-3) Macbeth and ambition go together very well. Throughout the whole play, even until his death, Macbeth shows his determination towards his throne and power, because to reach power you need ambition and Macbeth clearly represents this. Secondly, it’s unquestionable that Lady Macbeth plays a big part of ambition when she drives Macbeth to action.
This is important because Lady Macbeth has the motivation to give him the drive to kill Duncan, so she can be Queen. This ambition is quite important because she is the reason; Macbeth became so ambitious and powerful. Lady Macbeth: … Art thou without ambition, but without The illness should attend it; what thou wouldst highly, That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false… And that which rather thou dost fear to do Than wishest should be undone. (1, 5, 18-24) This quote justifies that Macbeth is not without ambition but has no immorality, which is what is needed.
She explains that if he wants the crown he might have to do things he fears than not having it at all, despite the circumstances to obtain it. Lady Macbeth’s ambition rises during the process of convincing Macbeth to kill Duncan, when she declares she wishes she wasn’t a woman so she commits the murder herself. This is great ambition because it shows the audience and the reader that she is determined to get to her position. She finds her husbands to be incompetent and weak, while she is strong. Lady Macbeth is also power-hungry, but has no way to satisfy this.
As a result she ends up living through her husband who is easily manipulated, so she can be in complete control. “Come, you spirits/ That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here, / And fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full. ” (1, 5, 43-45) Lady Macbeth, has great ambition to get to her power and thanks to her, Macbeth made it happen. Moreover, the witches have great influence on ambition in the play. Without ever meeting the witches, Macbeth would have never heard the prophecies that began the process of his ambition to become king of Scotland. The witches, lso known in the play as the weird sisters, have a certain power over Macbeth, that is not physical or emotional but the ability to reinforce an idea that was already in his head. The witches appeared from to time, to not control but to tempt and play with Macbeth’s ambition. The witches gave him several warnings at the end of the play on certain things such as: “Macbeth, Macbeth, Macbeth! Beware Macduff.? Beware the Thane of Fife! ” (4, 1, 77-78) If he would have listened, he would have thought up a plan to kill Macduff, but the witches knew his ambition was much greater than that.
This is important to the play because the witches do not control him, but play with his ambition. It’s what started his ambition to be king in the first place. Following with this further, not only does Macbeth have ambition, but so does Macduff. After Macbeth went through with murdering Macduff’s wife and kids, Macduff had a very big desire and determination to get revenge towards Macbeth. This is ambitious because Macduff had nothing left, no family, nothing, so he had a great ambition to succeed in getting revenge on Macbeth. Macduff: … either thou, Macbeth,
Or else my sword, with an unbatter’d edge, I sheathe again undeeded. There thou shouldst be; By this great clatter, one of greatest note Seems bruited: let me find him, fortune! And more I beg not. (5, 7, 23-28) Macduff has no interested in personal gain, of killing Macbeth, but only to get revenge on the one who took everything away. This is why it is so ambitious. In addition to Macduff’s ambition, the country men want to take over Macbeth because they believe he is becoming tyrannical. This is true proven by the following quote: Macbeth: … The castle of Macduff I will surprise;
Seize upon Fife; give to the edge o’ sword His wife, his babes, and all unfortunate souls That trace him in his line… (4, 1,164-167) Macbeth resolves in using violence to protecting his position on the throne. He is completely out of control, which explains why he see’s nothing wrong with killing Macduff’s whole family. The countrymen have the drive to protect Scotland, and everyone around Macbeth. This is ambitious because they are killing their King, to be in a safer and well maintained environment. Lastly, each murder has their part in ambition. The first murder committed by Macbeth was King Duncan.
This murder was committed for the fact that Macbeth was determined to become King and would do anything to get there, even if he had to kill the King, and this is called ambition. The murder would have had never happened if Macbeth never had ambition. After several other murders, he then killed his dear friend Banquo, to protect his throne. Banquo got killed for the simple fact that Macbeth was power-hungry and would do anything to protect his throne and power. He had the drive, and determination to keep his position which is revolved around ambition.
Macbeth’s hamartia and hubris was his great ambition and the way he over looked certain things. This led to his death and the suicide of his wife Lady Macbeth. He was so focused on himself, that he never noticed his wife was being deeply affected by his decisions. Lady Macbeth: Out, damned spot! Out, I say! One; two; why, then ‘tis time to do’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie! … What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him! (5, 1, 32-37) Every single death in Macbeth, has to do with ambition and being power-hungry.
If Macbeth simply said “no” to his wife for killing Duncan, the suicide and the murders and his own death could have been simply avoided but ambition got in the way of everything To conclude, the play Macbeth is revolved around ambition. Ambition is found in many ways in the play. It is found in Macbeth protecting his throne, Lady Macbeth being power-hungry. It is also found in the witches who play on Macbeth’s ambition. Macduff shows ambition when his family is murdered and finally that every death has to do with ambition. Ambition was so important to the play, because it ended so many people’s lives including Macbeth.
Cite this Macbeth Importance of Ambition
Macbeth Importance of Ambition. (2016, Sep 16). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/macbeth-importance-of-ambition/