How Is Ambition Depicted in Macbeth

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In Macbeth one of the key themes which Shakespeare shows is Ambition. Ambition is the one thing which turns weak minded people like Macbeth from a loyal, good hearted general to a murderous, cold tyrant. This theme is represented through a variety of dramatic devices and characterisation techniques. Shakespeare makes Macbeth an easy victim of ambition. Macbeth himself quotes, "I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting Ambition, which o'er-leaps itself and falls in the other." The words, "I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition..." shows that Macbeth knows and admits to us that the only reason he does the terrible deed of murdering the king was for his own personal gains. This shows Macbeth has already become a victim of ambition. The words "vaulting" and "o'er-leaps itself and falls in the other" indicates to us that Macbeth wants his desires to jump ahead of itself, as he is very ambitious. However, this also indicates that his ambitious desires can lead him to a possible downfall. This shows he understands the situation clearly, but he lets himself be pulled in by ambition regardless. Lady Macbeth is the driving force that encourages Macbeth to overcome his strong sense of guilt and take action which helps the prophecies. After reading the letter Macbeth sends her explaining the witches prophecies, Lady Macbeth's thoughts immediately turn to murder. She is the complete opposite of Macbeth. Macbeth is a weak minded character who has a strong sense of guilt, whereas Lady Macbeth seizes the opportunities and does what she thinks she desires. We can see this comparison in the scene after Duncan’s death where Macbeth appears in front of Lady Macbeth with daggers and his hands stained with blood. The only thing that saves the couple from being found out by others about their crime is Lady
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