Full text of “The works of William Shakespeare”
Ambition can be defined as an earnest desire for some type of achievement, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment. In “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare Macbeth’s ambition led to the obliteration of himself. On the conflicting side, driving ambition is the desire to set and achieve goals, regardless of anything coming in the way.
Throughout the elements used, such an imagery and characterization Shakespeare carries out an important theme about ambition in Macbeth.After reading the letter from Lady Macbeth’s husband, her thoughts immediately turn to murder. “Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be what thou art promised. Yet do I fear thy nature; It is too full o’ the’ milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way…” (I.v.15-20) The problem was Macbeth has the ambition, but he does not exactly have the nerve to see through it and admit that he has goals set to achieve and that he is ambitious.The ambition that is seen throughout the play is what leads Macbeth to his death in the end.
When he first hears the prophecies from the three witches, he does not see how it can be so, “to be king stands not within the prospect of belief” (I.iii.75). Macbeth’s ambitious character is becoming more noticeable when he considers the death of King Duncan. Macbeth’s ambition is very weighted from Lady Macbeth manipulating him into doing most of the bad things that he has done throughout the play.When Macbeth says “The Prince of Cumberland! That is a step on which I must fall down, or else o’erleap, for in my way it lies…” (I.iv.
55-60), he is describing his ambition to be black and having deep desires for bad things. Ambition has many consequences in the play: Macbeth is killed as a tyrant and Lady Macbeth commits suicide. Shakespeare did not give either of the two characters to live long enough to be fond of the things they achieved. Possibly indicating that it is more gratifying to achieve your goals moderately than achieve them through misconduct.Even though Macbeth was manipulated into doing things while he was trying to achieve his goal to be king, he did it anyway because he was not stopping until he got what he wanted. Evil and darkness are written all through this play, Macbeth no longer needs a model to keep his ambition going. He does not stop until he achieves his goals and gets to where he wants to be.