The Uncontrolled Ambition of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth Essay

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The Uncontrolled Ambition of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth

There is basically uncontrolled ambition throughout William Shakespeare's tragic drama Macbeth. In this essay we will explore numerous examples of this on the part of the two protagonists, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

Blanche Coles states in Shakespeare's Four Giants that the protagonist's ambition was not the usual narrow, personal ambition:

He has admitted to a vaulting ambition. We have no other evidence of personal ambition except, possibly, his own word in this speech. Onrushing events crowd the thought out of his mind and out of our view. We do have ample evidence of his ambition for his family, ambition for a son who might succeed him. [. . .] We
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Her language to Macbeth is the most potently eloquent that guilt could use. (56)

Clark and Wright in their Introduction to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare interpret the main theme of the play as intertwining with evil and ambition:

While in Hamlet and others of Shakespeare's plays we feel that Shakespeare refined upon and brooded over his thoughts, Macbeth seems as if struck out at a heat and imagined from first to last with rapidity and power, and a subtlety of workmanship which has become instructive. The theme of the drama is the gradual ruin through yielding to evil within and evil without, of a man, who, though from the first tainted by base and ambitious thoughts, yet possessed elements in his nature of possible honor and loyalty. (792)

The Tragedy of Macbeth opens in a desert place with thunder and lightning and three Witches who are anticipating their meeting with Macbeth, "There to meet with Macbeth." They all say together the mysterious and contradictory "Fair is foul, and foul is fair." King Duncan learns that "brave Macbeth" and Banquo are bravely resisting the "Norweyan banners" and the rebellious Thane of Cawdor. When these forces are vanquished, Duncan bids Ross to

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