The Ambition In The Play Macbeth


Ambition is the sword and shield that protects an individual from stagnation and is their weapon and means of gaining an advantage while pursuing their goals and desires. Ambition is a variable characteristic in Today’s society, but as with anything else, the effectiveness has a limit. Once we surpass this point, the motives are no longer acceptable. In Williams’ Shakespeare play Macbeth, the characterization of Macbeth demonstrates an unsatisfied individual with desired goals that leads to unleashing the character’s extreme dark ambition until the character faces the awful consequences of these actions. These unacceptable desires have impacted the character’s real self and others around. Macbeth teaches humanity that following ambition blindly causes terrible dissatisfaction and greediness with awful consequences that eventually fall on each other that regret alone can not fix later on.

Ambition is humanity’s instinctive response that runs wild and kicks in when motivation is needed. However, when an individual like Macbeth becomes impatient with and exceeds this instinct, a huge conflict arises. William Shakespeare indicates Macbeth as an indestructible skilled warrior that converts any battle to a “Golgotha” and as a loyal honest character that is a single-minded focus on attaining success. Macbeth’s conflict arises after hearing the desired prophecy from unnatural creatures known as witches, a prophecy that will persuade the character’s anticipation. That's when anxiety sets in and takes over the individual. Macbeth’s anticipation and desire are versus Macbeth's hesitation and confusion which causes the character no rest nor sleep. The character gets in confusion and internal battles back and forth between accepting the current fate and position or to be turning a blind eye on how evil the mind is thinking of dark thoughts and blindly following it saying “let not light see my black and deep desires the eye wind at the hand, yet let that be Which the eye fears, when tis done to see” ( I, iv, 58-60). Macbeth is in perplexity between being the loyal high valued warrior or a greedy with ultimate ambition individual. Macbeth’s thoughts are getting more persuaded by the dark ambition of Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is a non-hesitant woman with no limitation to use any kind of weapon to reach the aimed target even if it means using someone else's ambition as a stepping stone to pursue the lady’s ambition. Lady Macbeth persuades Macbeth into following ambition blindly by mocking the character. Lady Macbeth exploits Macbeth’s weakness to force the character’s anger into fulfilling the one’s dark and evil ambition quoting “ live a coward in thine own esteem, Letting “I dare not'' wait upon “I would”, like the poor cat I’th’ adge’, ( I, vii, 47-49 ), Which displays Lady Macbeth’s manipulation. Lady  Macbeth is so determined to make Macbeth achieve the dark goals quoting “ that I may pour my spirits in thine ear” (I, v, 17 ) for the sake of achieving the one’s aimed goal. This being said, ambition shall never control humans, but humans shall control ambition because once ambition goes out of control it gets out of hand.

Ambition occasionally wins over the person’s consciousness. Every individual believes that being ambitious is the right path to take including Macbeth. Macbeth’s hesitation switches to bold determination. The character goes through a journey full of emotional rides and ends up surrendering to one’s sinful thoughts. Once ambition gets into someone’s head, wicked thoughts start to sink deeper in the name of ambition, and that is exactly what Macbeth notices happening quoting ‘O, full of scorpions in my mind, dear wife”, ( III, ii, 41 ), which demonstrates how dire Macbeth and the whole situation have become. Ambition has a big impact in making human beings blind when it comes to achieving goals. Ambition is the same reason why Macbeth is ignoring all the logical and reasonable consequences that can come. Macbeth switches all the witches’ phrases from the appropriations to different definitions of words to fulfil and satisfy one’s mind. Macbeth as a character gets diverted from a smart high skilled warrior to an impulsive individual that lacks understanding of the magnitude of the horrible actions taken. The character starts losing realization of the awful consequences including the Divine Rights of Kings that are eventually coming soon. The character even ignores the fact that the dreadful thoughts could impact and hurt the closest people around the individual. An individual like Macbeth that is ready to do anything to attain success, stress and paranoia sets in and consumes the character. This reflects on every aspect of life including the character’s intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships. Macbeth slowly begins to view everyone around, companions and confidants as threats to the desired target. Macbeth is ready to do anything for the sake of his desire quoting “Tis better thee without than he within”, (III,iv,16), indicating that having Banquo’s blood or that killing anyone is better and worth more than having the character’s blood out of his body. The character decides and kills a close friend, and is ready to repeat the act to anyone who shows signs of threat or threatens to hamper the character’s hopes. Meanwhile, Lady Macbeth diverts from an obstinate strong-minded woman to an individual with a sense of blame and guilt. Lady Macbeth feels a sense of responsibility for the horrifying impulsive actions and takes an emotional trip of regret and culpable emotions. While Macbeth lacks realization moments, lady Macbeth doesn’t and says “Where our desire is got without content. Tis safer to be that which we destroy than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy” (III, ii, 7-10), where Lady Macbeth is becoming aware of the falling consequences of the act and will prefer to be dead than live in constant fear and guilt. Macbeth is a play that emphasizes the irony that occurred to both characters and the influence of ambition on humans. The play illustrates that ambition can make humans really ignorant or can make the individuals really down and belittle human existence.

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