Ambition is a common downfall for those who seek power. In literature, authors use characters to demonstrate the harmful effects of ambition. Shakespeare, in his play Macbeth, develops the character of Macbeth, who changes from a good-hearted person to evil because of his corrupting power and unchecked ambition. In Act I, Macbeth debates with himself on whether or not to kill Duncan. He considers that, even if Duncan’s murder could be completed without any negative consequences, like getting caught, he still would have to live with guilt.
As the play goes on, Macbeth slowly looses his morality as he strives for more control whilst Lady Macbeth steps into a frantic stage of guilt. After killing the king, Macbeth starts to plot other evil undertakings as he becomes nervous that someone will take away his power. At one point he goes from wanting to needing the sovereignty, which makes him loose sight of his integrity. As Macbeth begins to immorally act in order to achieve what he hungers, the line between good and evil starts to fade. “I am in blood / Stepp’d in so far, that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o’er.” (3.4.136-138) In this quote, Macbeth is telling himself that because he has stepped into evil so deeply, it will be hard to go back to morallity because he will never be able to rid of this guilt brought onto him.
Act 2 Scene 2 Essay Act 2 Scene 2 starts after Macbeth speaks a soliloquy about the terrible deed he is going to do. The soliloquy he speaks portrays his fear of killing Duncan, his fear that he will be caught in the act of murder and the supernatural theme running throughout his soliloquy. At the start, Macbeth sees a vision, a ‘dagger which I see before me’ which evidently shows that he is thinking about the murder he is about to commit. The reader can interpret this vision very differently, by saying that Macbeth is going mad from fear and it is ‘a dagger of the mind, a false creation’ before him, which creates a sense of panic and curiosity, as the reader is not sure whether he is stable enough to go through with the murder. The other interpretation is that something supernatural and scary is at work, that the dagger is a sign from the witches Macbeth spoke to.
Is Macbeth Responsible For His Downfall? Who is responsible for the downfall of Macbeth? He is manipulated by the witches, encouraged by his wife, but ultimately he chooses to act. His first conference with the witches, Macbeth’s ambition was planted and his mind was overwhelmed with thoughts of murder and betrayal. It fair to say, in addition, that if his betrayal caused this extensive pain that clouded him after he murders Duncan, Banquo and the Macduff’s that it wasn’t a case of fate and was his own doing.
Guilt is constantly seen throughout the play Macbeth driving the characters to question their morals. To the responder it appears that Lady Macbeth is the driving force behind the initial killing of King Duncan influencing her husband Macbeth to commit the evil deeds by threatening him with his man hood by saying “when you do it, then you are a man”. Her tone portrays her dominant nature and her hunger for authority and demonstrates to the responder her strength as a character. However her over confident traits and clear and concise thinking is diminished once the guilt of the crime poisons her conscience. This is demonstrated by her imagining her hands stained by blood and her constantly trying to clean the “damned spot” away and rid her sole of the guilt.
This is right before Macbeth will kill Duncan. On his way to murder King Duncan, Macbeth sees the vision of the bloody dagger leading the way. Significance: It is clear that Macbeth is insane. Macbeth has been convinced into the action not by his own reasoning, but by his personal insecurities, played upon by his wife, the witches, and his own ambition. By the time Macbeth’s mind conjures up a dagger for him, he can see the murder as a conclusion, not a question for his consideration.
However, he does not yet have strong feelings about it and is plagued by indecision. He meets the Witches and they predict he will be Thane of Cawdor and King of Scotland. He demands to know more but they vanish. Macbeth said ‘Why do I yield to that suggestion?’ when he was thinking about killing Duncan was right or not. This could be interpreted as Macbeth wondering why the thoughts had come into his head.
Shakespeare does a magnificent job by using Macbeth to show the terrible consequences that can result from an unchecked ambition and a guilty conscience. Those elements, combined with a lack of strong character, distinguish Macbeth from Shakespeare's other tragic heroes, such as King Lear and Richard III, both of whom are strong enough to overcome their guilty conscience. Before Macbeth murders Duncan, he is plagued with anxiety and almost does not go along with the plan. It takes his wife, Lady Macbeth's persuasion in order to complete the plot. When is about to kill Duncan, Macbeth sees a dagger covered in blood floating in the air, representing the bloody course he is about to take.
In the soliloquy, Hamlet is at first upset with himself about finding ways to avoid avenging his Father’s murder, like his spirit in ghost form told him to. This complaining turns into self hatred and then Hamlet is insulting himself outright. The main reason for this is he has agreed to get revenge on Claudius so his father’s spirit can be at peace, but he hasn’t done it yet. The fact that the Player seems to be more able to get into the mindset of revenge than he can further discourages him. This on top of the fact that Hamlet’s dad is dead and his mother married that man he hates most in the world makes for a pretty melancholy fellow.
Hamlet has been instructed by the ghost of his late father to avenge his death by killing King Claudius. This is what brings mistrust and eavesdropping into the picture. Claudius has suspensions about Hamlet’s peculiar behavior, and has summoned his school chums, Guildenstern and Rosencrantz, to spy on him. Before they even start their expedition of eavesdropping, the King and Polonious have already made plans to hide being a wall hanging during Hamlet and Ophelia’s exchange of love gifts. King Claudius is determined to discover an alternative motive to Hamlet’s madness besides depression.