In Macbeth, ambition is presented as a dangerous quality, and can tarnish even the purest of souls. The destruction wrought when ambition goes unchecked by moral constraints is arguably expressed strongest through interaction between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, and is the main foundation of Macbeth’s inevitable downfall, and triggers a series of deaths. Lady Macbeth encourages her husband mercilessly to kill Duncan, helped by the malign prophecies of the witches, and urges him to be strong in the murder’s aftermath, but he is said to be too kind, 'Yet do I fear thy nature it is to full o' the milk of human kindness to catch the nearest way.' (I, v, 14-16). Although a courageous general who holds Duncan in high regard, ‘he hath honoured me of late’ (I, vii, 32) and isnot naturally inclined to commit evil deeds, he deeply desires power and advancement; he kills Duncan against his better judgment.
Discuss how the characters of Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and Duncan are established in Act I by using textual evidence to support your points. Macbeth: “return to plague the inventor” Macbeth is a person that knows what he must do but is doubtful of it. He is the war hero and got news of his promotion by the witches, who also said he would be promoted further. To make their prophecy come true he must kill Duncan. Lady Macbeth: “unsex me here, and fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty” Lady Macbeth is the “true” evil.
True masculinity is a conceptual fallacy. Macbeth’s hamartia is his indulgence in the concept of masculinity. Lady Macbeth, the main female protagonist demasculinizes Macbeth throughout the play for his lack of assertiveness. Manipulatively, she states to Macbeth, “What beast was’t then, /That made you break this enterprise to me? / When you durst do it, then you were a man” (1.7.47-49).. She defines manhood as stark aggression to achieve power in any means necessary such as killing Duncan.
Mr. Elstone British Literature March 24, 2011 Ambition is a desire or a determination to achieve your goals. In the story of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, ambition is shown throughout the story. Lady Macbeth and Macbeth show ambition because they were determined to kill Duncan to become king, later on it the story their ambition drives them to go crazy when he imagines his best friends ghost, finally his guilt is shown when he’s too afraid to return to place the daggers back into the room where the murder took place. Macbeth’s ambition is driven by an internal motivation, a desire from inside to become king. Macbeth’s ambition isn’t much different from Lady Macbeth’s ambition they both would kill to for power, they start going crazy,
However, Macbeth has the ultimate decision in whether or not to commit the assassinations, but he loves Lady Macbeth and wishes to please her. After Macbeth kills Duncan, he fairly disappointed in himself for doing it. After killing Duncan, murdering others appears to be the only solution to continue to cover up his terrible actions or lose all that he has driven for. Lady Macbeth is force on Macbeth that unleashes the wicked part of him. She has a forceful impact on him and is another key character to blame for his developing desire of killing others to get away with her master plan.
1. DESCRIPTION OF LADY MACBETH Lady Macbeth is presented to the reader from her first appearance in the play as a woman fired by ambition. What Macbeth lacks in decisiveness, Lady Macbeth makes up for his lack of bloodthirsty lust for power and wealth. Swearing off her femininity at the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband powerfully to follow through with his plans to kill Duncan. After the act of regicide, it is Lady Macbeth who has the soundness of mind to plant the incriminating evidence on Duncan's guards.
Macbeth himself was always yearning for power. It is first shown when he is made thane of Cawdor, and is jealous of Malcolm for becoming heir of the throne. “As Macbeth hears the title given to Malcolm, he shows again the conflict within him between ambition and fear.” (Campbell 216) His greed and ambition for more gets the better of him, as he plots with Lady Macbeth to kill King Duncan and become the heir to the throne. This was a very selfish act in his position; by killing Duncan and becoming king, Macbeth disrupted the chain of being and doomed all of society as a whole. “The Great Chain of Being was supposed to keep the Earth in a stable condition and order.
This shows Macbeth ambition gave him the desire to maintain his power by any means necessary if even that meant killing a loyal friend , which he did in getting Banquo killed. Macbeth vaulting ambition also has a strain on his relationship with his wife. Lady Macbeth is no longer the more ambitious person in the play. Macbeth ambition has now led to him making decesions on his own , no longer consulting Lady Macbeth. Meanwhile Lady Macbeth nows feel neglected by Macbeth causing her to suffer from depression.
Lady Macbeth is not satisfied with power, as soon as there is an additional opportunity for abundant power Lady Macbeth is committed to getting that power by any means necessary, moral or immoral. She desires for her husband to gutlessly murder King Duncan and expects him to be mentally stable after the murder. However, she is the one who is driven to complete insanity because of all the killing that Macbeth is doing and all the bloodshed that the pair has caused. This is essentially Lady Macbeths fault as she bestowed her corrupt morals onto Macbeth. She shaped the mindset that it was necessary to murder someone who trusts you for more power and accordingly she changed Macbeth’s way of thinking.
An opportunist, she jumps on prospects as soon as they arise. When she receives Macbeth’s letter about the witches’ predictions, she immediately begins plotting Duncan’s murder, and calls upon dark spirits to “fill [her] from crown to toe top-full of direst cruelty” (1.5.49-50) to assist her in getting the job done. While most women would never dream of summoning evil to become queen, Lady Macbeth will do whatever it takes to achieve the power she yearns for. She easily squashes her husband’s doubts in their scheme by belittling his manliness, calling him “a coward in [his] own esteem” (1.7.47) and other demeaning names. This type of manipulation comes naturally to Lady Macbeth, as does an attitude of relentless determination.