Ambition In Macbeth's Ambition

1058 Words 5 Pages
Shakespeare 's character, Macbeth, has a ghastly amount of ambition. In the play, “Macbeth,” witches tell Macbeth that he will become king. This statement enhances his ambition and pushes him to kill King Duncan to gain the crown. After the murder Macbeth sees frightful hallucinations and wonders if death is better than suffering from the terror and guilt he feels. He develops paranoia around his determination to keep his unmerited crown. The murder of King Duncan, done at the hands of Macbeth, begins the growth of a traumatizing insanity. Macbeth 's character transpires from a brave and valiant knight, into a tyrannical and monstrous king. Macbeth starts out as an intrepid and loyal military leader. Macbeth is loyal to the king and though …show more content…
Macbeth is plagued by guilt after the murder only because he knows it is wrong. The only way Macbeth would be able to feel the intense level of stigma that he is experiencing, is if he knew that the murder was nefarious (Nelson 1). Macbeth feels so guilty that he dares not “wink at the hand” that held the dagger in it, and killed the king (1.4.52). Macbeth 's refusal to even look at his hand shows remorse and fear towards his ability to take the life of a wise king. AFter killing the king, Macbeth freezes up, and can not brave the sight of his victim even to frame the servants of Duncan. Macbeth immediately feels “changed, tainted, by what he has done” and can not overcome his murderous deed (Nelson 1). He feels as if the ocean could not wash his hands clean, but instead he would make “the green one red,” and the blood will never wash off of him (2.2.64). The barbaric couple is later depicted washing their hands many times. Instead of leaving Macbeth’s mind, guilt continues to plague him and cause paranoia. Before and after killing the king, Macbeth “begins to hallucinate and hear voices” that are not real (Nelson 1). Even before killing the king, Macbeth sees “a false creation” of a dagger in front of him (2.1.49). After he has murdered the king, Macbeth hears a voice cry “sleep no more” and Lady Macbeth retorts that the voices were only in his head (2.2.35). These small …show more content…
He decides to continue killing even after he has the crown, which transforms his character. Macbeth has grown into a “false, perfidious, barbarous, and vindictive” man (Richardson 1). He, on impulse, gives the Macduff family “to th ' edge o ' th ' sword;” his first impulse is to kill the innocent wife and son of Macduff, confirming his depravity (4.1.58). Accordingly, the only deaths Macbeth fears are his own, therefore, he is willing to take on Macduff and Malcolm 's army to keep his castle. Almost every virtue of Macbeth has “undergone a violent and total change” by the time the war begins (Richardson 1). Even Macbeth 's ability to love his wife has disintegrated. When he hears the news that she died, he replies, she would have “died hereafter,” and “such a word” would come later anyway (5.5.17). Furthermore, Macbeth is so immoral that he does not even show sadness or compassion, he just continues awaiting the arrival of the Macduff 's army. Lastly, Macbeth 's “ferocity is substituted instead of mildness” and he is no longer subdued, but instead violent and vengeful (Richardson 1). Macbeth used to fear a shriek in the night, but has transformed into someone accustomed to “slaughterous thoughts” that “cannot once start” him (5.5.14-15). Macbeth 's ability to assimilate to terror shows that his whole personality has changed. Similarly, the described change from mild to ferocity epitomizes his

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