ambition in macbeth

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Shannon Firkins Ambition is a common downfall for those who seek and gain power. In literature, authors portray the harmful effects of ambition through their characters. In the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare the main character Macbeth changes from a kind-hearted warrior to an egotistical ruler because of his ambition. The poem “Ozymandias,” by Percy Bysshe Shelley, tells the story of a traveler who comes across an old ruined statue. The inscription on the statue says “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings, Look on my Works ye Mighty and Despair.” This is ironic because everything around the statue, or the “works” are in ruins. Both of these pieces of literature show the flaws of ambition. One flaw of ambition is that sometimes people can be overly ambitious. When one is too ambitious, ambition gets the better of a person. For example, in the poem “Ozymandias”, the king/ruler probably became too concerned with his power and he forgot about the prior goals he set. This most likely led to the destruction of his “works”. Macbeth somewhat demonstrates the same qualities as the ruler in the poem. Macbeth becomes too overly concerned with power and he forgets why exactly he is taking these actions. An example of this is his lack of any legitimate reasons for killing King Duncan and obtaining the throne except for his own ambition and greed to become king. The prophecies that Macbeth receives from the witches seem so true that he relies on the words of these predictions alone, instead of taking action himself to secure the works of the prophecies. Macbeth let his ambition blind him; as did the ruler in “Ozymandias”. Another consequence of ambition is loneliness. Ozymandias and Macbeth had so much ambition that they put themselves above all of their peers and former supporters. When all was said and done Macbeth and Ozymandias had no one left to support them,

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