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.
There is a long monologue of Macbeth: “… He's here in double trust; First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, Strong both against the deed; then, as his host, Who should against his murderer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself….” —1.7.15-19 Here, Macbeth tells us the double trust of Duncan. From Macbeth’s words, it is easy to find that he is the last possible person to murder Duncan. Therefore, theoretically Duncan is very safe in Macbeth’s castle. But the irony is that the safest place becomes the most dangerous one. Duncan’s trust on Macbeth gives Macbeth the chance to carry out the murder.
So Macbeth is aware of the fact that what goes around comes around. The other reason not to kill Duncan for Macbeth is trust which is one of the most important moral values. He’s here in double trust; First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, Strong both against the deed; then as his host, Who should against his murderer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself. (1,7,12-16) In the beginning, as it is understood from the quotation,
Macbeth/Macduff Essay Macbeth is the main character, but also ends up being the antagonist. At first the reader tries to understand what he’s doing and have sympathy for him but as the play progresses we lose faith. Macbeth is a very bad character, but there are also other “foils” which we can compare to him. Macduff is portrayed as the good, respectable and loyal protagonist of the book, juxtaposed to Macbeth, who is evil, deceitful and a traitor. Macbeth’s wrongdoings are amplified by the kindness and loyalty of Macduff and the legacy Duncan left as a great king.
7. 12). Macbeth’s thoughts and feelings about killing King Duncan are results of his good nature. Expert Wayne Booth says, “The testimony of other characters and Macbeth’s own moral vacillations presented early in the play suggest that Macbeth is not a naturally evil man, but a man who has every potentiality for goodness.” Macbeth’s moral values are clear examples of
Thou wouldst be great art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it.” This shows that Lady Macbeth simply brings out the murderous butcher within Macbeth which was always subconsciously there with his ambition for glory. Macbeth decides to kill Duncan on his own, with his major flaw, ambition, as the main influence to his decision. After murdering Duncan Macbeth is extremely frightened and regrets to killing Duncan “Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst!” However Lady Macbeth is calm and collected immediately after the murder. She
He is happy to commit murder if that was to be the end of it but he fears the consequences and is concerned that the same fate will befall him, “Bloody instructions, which being taught, return To plague the inventor”. He is moral man, loyal to the King who has recently honoured him. Macbeth tells himself that he cannot escape the consequences of assassinating Duncan yet ‘only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself And falls on the other”. This suggests that his own motivation is ambition, which he understands makes people rush ahead of themselves and ends in a downfall. This is a prophetic reflection of the final denouement of the play.
Motifs in Macbeth Motif is a recurring element that gains significance as a literary work continues. In the book Macbeth, by William Shakespeare there are numerous motifs such as blood, sleeplessness, and darkness. Blood is a sign of evil and wrongdoing. After Macbeth kills Duncan he says, “He can’t wash the blood off his hands.” Macbeth says this because he has this feeling that he will always have that blood stained knowing how he feels guilty for killing Duncan. Macbeth describes Duncan as having had "golden blood," which contrasts with his own.
When Macbeth reveals that he is unable to kill Duncan due to a personal relationship and his ability to see Duncan as a respectable king, he reveals his good qualities that are portrayed in the beginning of the play. After the short lapse where Macbeth desires to kill Duncan, the valiant thane of Cawdor side of Macbeth seems to become near extinct, but Macbeth’s decision making process helps to revive the pure and role model like figure that readers saw for majority of act one. Without the soliloquy to justify that there was sanity to differ from the plan, the whole aspect of a controlling character would be lost since Macbeth would not need persuasion. Similar to a domino
Banquo is juxtaposed to show how an honest man would react to fair-surrounding predictions. Macbeth’s “aside” clearly reveals him to be a man who is morally flawed and susceptible to temtation. Shakespeare’s use of imagery with the three witches makes us realise that the witches only want bad things for Macbeth. They test his character to see if they can corrupt him from his natural state of mind into their evil ways. As such Macbeth is morally vulnerable to them.