Macbeth first takes this in a joking manner, but soon begins to take it very seriously. When he came home to his wife, he shared the witches’ prediction with her and she encourages Macbeth to quicken the process by murdering the current king, King Duncan. After murdering the king, Macbeth soon finds himself needing to kill many more in order to keep his secret. His kingship comes into jeopardy when he hears of someone named Macduff who is foretold to have the power to defeat him. Macbeth hears some juxtapose news that gives him a reckless attitude.
In William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth, Macbeth has to cope with the strong feelings of envy, and hatred to fulfill his ambitions of being King. Macbeth started off as a loyal and trusting person that has triumphed in battle, therefore he is granted the title of, “The Thane of Cawdor,” from King Duncan. Soon after, Lady Macbeth receives good news saying that Duncan will be staying with them for some time. Lady Macbeth then manipulates Macbeth into killing Duncan. Although Macbeth desires to be King he still has his doubts about the murder.
She is asking him if he wants to be king or not, and if he is to be king he must commit regicide. By telling Macbeth this, she is his doubting his manliness, and his ambitions. She goes further to say that she would make a better man than he: “I would, while it was smiling in my face,/ Have pluck'd my nipple from his boneless gums,/ and dash'd the brains out, had I so sworn as you/ Have done to this” (Act I, Scene vii, Lines 56-59) As a result of this verbal abuse and pressure, Macbeth ends up killing Duncan that same night. This shows us that Lady Macbeth's ambition is greater than Macbeth’s, because while he hesitates and is distrustful of his powers, she never wavers. She needs no supernatural temptations to urge her on.
In the opening of the play, a loyal Macbeth is approached by three witches who entice him with their claim that “[he] shalt be king thereafter.” (1-3-50). This information stimulates his hidden thirst for power and willingness to keep the throne for himself. He plots to murder the king and takes the liberty of killing Banquo, and anyone else who poses a threat to his reign to aid his own insecurity. Macbeth begins to lose trust in those around him and becomes unstable. Shakespeare shows through Duncan, who carries a legitimate power, that only direct threats to the kingdom are punished accordingly.
She is confident that the ‘valour of my tongue’ will persuade him to execute the unthinkable task of murdering Duncan and although Macbeth puts up a feeble fight, Lady Macbeth is adamant on her desire and even goes as far as to attack Macbeth’s manhood in order to get what she wants. This shows the extent of Lady Macbeth’s immorality because she goes as far as emasculating her own husband to accomplish what is initially only a faint
Though he may have always had the final say when it came to the numerous killings, his wife uses her power to effortlessly persuade her weak husband to make him do whatever she wants him to. At first, her strength inspires him. But as the play goes on, he realizes she has turned him into a power hungry monster who continues in the bloody path she set him on. The self-destruction of the two all began with the witches’ prophecies saying that Macbeth would become the Thane of Glamis, the Thane of Cawdor, and ultimately become king. Macbeth is not naturally inclined to perform malicious deeds, but he deeply desires power.
‘I fear Thou played’st most foully for ‘t’ shows that Banquo is surrounded by an air of speculation that questions the lengths that Macbeth has gone to in order to be crowned Monarch. Banquo is aware of the witches being foul and misleading characters and therefore is easily convinced that they could have had a negative effect on his friend Macbeth. In the royal palace, Banquo paces and thinks about the coronation of Macbeth and the prophecies of the weird sisters. The witches foretold that Macbeth would be king and that Banquo’s line would eventually sit on the throne, 'that myself should be root and father Of many kings'. If the first prophecy came true, Banquo begins to doubt, why not the second?
She is the one who plans the betrayal of Duncan and pressures Macbeth into thinking the only way to fulfill the witches “promise” is to kill the king. She goes so far as to tell Macbeth to stop wearing his emotions on his sleeves, saying “Your face, my thane, is as a book, where men / May read strange matters. To beguile the time, / Look like the time; bear welcome in your eye, / Your hand, your tongue: look like and innocent flower, / but be the serpent under it” (I, v, 69-73). She reinforces her strong character by telling Macbeth, in a time where men dominated their wives, what to do. When Lady Macbeth says “Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be /What thou art promis'd: yet do I fear thy nature / Is too full o' the milk of human kindness” (I, v, 14-16), we see how she considers Macbeth too kind, to prone to letting his conscience take over that she asks the evil spirits to enter her, so that she will be able to achieve what she fears he husband will not.
The perception of gender roles and the pressure to live up to these are used to manipulate the characters and lead to their eventual downfall. Macbeth allows himself to be controlled by both the witches and Lady Macbeth. After being influenced by the three witches and Lady Macbeth to kill Duncan, Macbeth feels remorse. Lady Macbeth seeing this mocks Macbeth and says, “What beast was’t, then / That made you durst do it, then you were a man; / And to be more than what you were, you would / Be so much more the man” (Shakespeare I.vii. 47-51).
Through these techniques and motifs, Shakespeare shows how the once valiant and noble Macbeth turns into a guilty and ruined man due to letting his ambitious ways ruin him. In this essay I will examine the theme of ambition, motifs and techniques used in Macbeth to show how Macbeth’s actions lead to his ultimate downfall. After hearing the enticing prophecies of the witches we begin to see glimpses of Macbeth’s burgeoning ambition. The reader sees the idea of murder and tyranny enters his mind soon after Malcolm is crowned Prince of Cumberland: ‘The Prince of Cumberland: that is a step/ on which I must fall down, or else o’er-leap/, for in my way it lies.’ This quotation begins to forebode the series of bad and dark ideas that will enter Macbeth’s mind, the ideas which will make him turn to murder. This is the starting point of Macbeth wanting to push every inch of morality aside.