What Is the Hamartia of Macbeth

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Macbeth is often read as a cautionary tale about the kind of destruction ambition can cause. Macbeth is a man that at first seems content to defend his king and country against treason and rebellion and yet, his desire for power plays a major role in the way he commits the heinous acts (with the constant push and bullying behavior from his wife of course). Once Macbeth had his little taste of power at the beginning of the play, he seems unable and unwilling to stop killing (men, women, and children alike) in order to maintain his position of power, gain greater power, and secure his eventual position on the throne. Selfishly, Macbeth puts his own desires before the good of his country until he is reduced to mere shell of a human being. Ambition is not Macbeth’s only fatal flaw, but it is certainly one of the most predominant ones. He desires so much, but doesn’t have the strength to fight for it, but he has such a strong ambition for his dream that he pulls through and fights for it. He loves his power and is so ambitious that it is scary to a reader. He pursues his goal all the way to the end and shows his ambition by not surrendering when he is about to be killed. Macbeth is the strong, valiant warrior who has won in battle and brought victory to Scotland. However, Macbeth’s quest to acquire more power - his ambition - ultimately leads to his downfall. How can one allow himself to be destroyed by such a thing? Before Duncan’s murder, Macbeth questions and second guesses his ambitious tendencies and actions. Despite his anxiety, he succumbs to these tendencies and finds himself in more trouble than he anticipated. His guilty conscience haunts him and his unforgiving deeds come back to trouble him. Macbeth's actions are clearly motivated by his overpowering ambition and his unquenchable thirst for power; at the beginning of the play his ambition is channelled

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