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Ambition in Lady Macbeth

Ambition in Lady Macbeth

“The great ambition, unchecked by principle, an unruly tyrant” (Alexander Hamilton). In Macbeth, unchecked ambition for the power is the main message of the play, and it transforms the main characters to a ruthless, violent and heartless tyrant. At the same time, the strong desire for power also catch up Lady Macbeth and has a negative impact on her health and husband. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are too ambitious and in the end their ambition causes their death. Macbeth by Shakespeare shows that Ambition is the path way to success, but, without morals, mentor and principles, it corrupts and destroys great people.

Macbeth’s ambition is the essential reason why he turns from an innocent, noble and brave warrior to a violent, bloody dictator. Initially after gaining the title of Thane of Cawdor, Macbeth still remains humble and respectful. Once Macbeth receives the prophecies of the witches, his mind is full of thoughts of ambition to become the king of Scotland. Macbeth says, “If good, why do I yield to that suggestion/ Whose horrid image doth unfix my hair” (Act 1 Scene 3). When two of prophecies comes true in his life, Macbeth cannot wait naturally his time to king. He starts thinking that Duncan is the big obstacle in his way to his ambition. Sadly, he believes killing the king is good thing for the throne while his moral standard is speaking himself that cruel murder is frightening and upsetting to get it done as a man who loves the righteousness. The language “Whose horrid image” by Shakespeare tell us that Macbeth’s moral obligation is still upright despite his untapped ambition to murder. Shakespeare gives the messages that everyone, even who intends to finish murder, has a guilty and troubled consciences before they do work. His ambition by prophecies obviously transforms him to a ruthless and heartless dictator as a result of the desire for power.

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In addition, that not only his ambition but also Lady Macbeth are the strong impact on Macbeth is vital. Without his wife, Lady Macbeth, Macbeth could have not lost his humanity and dignity. Arianna Huffington said “having a partner definitely allows you to take more risks” which is directly the truth for Macbeth. Lady Macbeth manipulates his husband, who declares that he no longer desires to kill the king, Duncan. Shakespeare writes “we will proceed no further in this business” (Act 1 Scene 7). Shakespeare approves that Macbeth is a strong, brave warrior even though he has the best chance to pursues his dream. His honor and love to the king is good enough to overcome his nightmare by the witches. Sadly, once Lady Macbeth prompts and says, “then you were a man” (Act 1 Scene 7) to Macbeth. As his wife and a partner, Lady Macbeth exactly knows what the weakness Macbeth has, so she challenges being a man that Macbeth has the great pride for him. Shakespeare uses the word “a man” as a symbolism as the ideas of how important being a man is. In the past and still now, a man is likely to be put first priority in society and family more than a woman. Lady Macbeth forces him to finish this business if is a true man who is supposed to keep his promise and live as a man. For Macbeth, being a man is not only the gift of God but also his pride and his weaknesses. Macbeth cannot overcome the temptation of his wife although he tries to avoid it. Macbeth says “vaulting ambition, which overleaps itself / and falls on the other “(act 1 Scene 7). Macbeth knows that the only thing motivating him is ambition, which makes people rush ahead of themselves toward disaster, but he is manipulated by his wife and will. therefore, Bunny Reuben said, “I have always maintained that a man can be as good or bad depending upon his life partner”. In the play, Lady Macbeth is the worst partner Macbeth has ever had. If Macbeth had not sent the letter his wife to ask the advices, he could have lived his life as the thane of Cawdor.

In the play, Like Macbeth, Lady Macbeth herself is the second main person who has great ambition for the power like Macbeth does. Her ambition is higher than Macbeth. She is too ambitious and obsessive about their ambition. While Macbeth himself hesitate to kill Duncan, Lady Macbeth persuade him to finish this ambition as soon as possible. Shakespeare writes “What not put upon /his spongy officers” (Act 1 Scene 7). Lady Macbeth advises her husband to blame the guards for the murder. I think her ambition to be the queen is bigger than any life. She cannot see the life of people when it comes to the queen and the king. As a result of extremely ambition, she ends with madness and suicide which is inappropriate for even normal people. That death is the darkness one. We see many people who is so self-centered like her. Shakespeare obviously reflects human mind that are selfish and obsessive by Lady Macbeth.

In Macbeth, Shakespeare writes this play bases on the real history of Macbeth, who was the king of Scotland during 11th century. Macbeth, by Shakespeare is mostly as the same as the story of Macbeth, the military leader, who killed his cousin, King Duncan for the throne. A few years later, he is killed by Malcom in the battle. I think that we see those kinds of stories at the ages of monarchy. For example, the king, father is killed by his son or his brother. By this play, we see the political trend of eleven century with monarchy. the desire for the throne sadly brings murders between family and friend. This is the worse parts of human nature and history.

Moreover, Most of Shakespeare’s plays, he gives his audiences several messages about human nature, which are ambition for something like power and revenge and obsession. In Hamlet, Claudius is eager to have power that he killed his brother, Hamlet as the same as Macbeth, who killed his best friend, Banquo and the king, Duncan. Both of them are lost their mind as a result of the power. Macbeth and Claudius not only become the king of Denmark and Scotland but also are killed as revenge. In Hamlet and Macbeth, Gertrude and Lady Macbeth are the same at loving the throne and willing to be the queen. Gertrude get married with the new king, Claudius once his husband dead because of being the queen and prevention of being a queen. Unlike Gertrude, Lady Macbeth purposely cooperate with Macbeth to kill the innocent kings so that she will be the queen of Scotland. However, Gertrude’s desire for the power is not less than Macbeth’s mind wanted to be the queen. Moreover, Hamlet and Macbeth are an honest, noble and serious men before having ambition, and they have differences in ambition. However, Like Macbeth, Hamlet receives the messages from the ghost of Hamlet. There are many similarities and differences in Hamlet and Macbeth. We are given many lessons from those plays, but the main message Shakespeare give is the effect of the desire for power.

In conclusion, unchecked and untapped ambition are the main messages Shakespeare give us clearly by looking at the characters of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. They are too ambitious for their ambition so that they cannot handle their unchecked ambition. Consequently, this ambition corrupts and destroys them to madness and the dark death. Macbeth said, “To be thus is nothing” (Act 3 scene 1). To be the king is nothing if he is not safe as a king. Macbeth is totally changed and destroyed by his ambition. In addition, their relationship teaches us how important partnership is for making the right decision. Ambition is the way to success, but it should be checked by morals and principles of human.

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William Shakespeare

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Lady Macbeth’s Behavior in Macbeth By William Shakespeare

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lady macbeth ambition essay

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lady macbeth ambition essay

Lady Macbeth as Powerful

The essay below uses this simple structure:, an introductory paragraph to summarise an answer to the question, one paragraph about the extract, one about the rest of the play, one about context., lady macbeth:, the raven himself is hoarse, that croaks the fatal entrance of duncan, under my battlements. come, you spirits, that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,, and fill me from the crown to the toe top-full, of direst cruelty. make thick my blood., stop up the access and passage to remorse ,, that no compunctious visitings of nature, shake my fell purpose, nor keep peace between, the effect and it come to my woman’s breasts,, and take my milk for gall , you murd'ring ministers,, wherever in your sightless substances, you wait on nature’s mischief. come, thick night,, and pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell,, that my keen knife see not the wound it makes,, nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, to cry “hold, hold”, starting with this speech, explain how far you think shakespeare presents lady macbeth as a powerful woman., write about:, how shakespeare presents lady macbeth in this speech, how shakespeare presents lady macbeth in the play as a whole., the essay below is written using a simple structure:, an introductory paragraph to summarise an answer to the question., one paragraph about the extract., one about the rest of the play., before you read the answer below, why not have a think about how you'd answer this question. i've highlighted the quotes i'd write about - do you agree or would you focus elsewhere also, which sections from the rest of the play would you focus on and what contextual factors influenced lady macbeth's presentation, most importantly, though, have a think about how you'd write that opening paragraph - answer the question in two or three simple sentences., an example answer, during the majority of the play, lady macbeth is presented as being a powerful woman who defies the expected gender stereotype of the caring, soft, gentle female. by the end of the play, however, she kills herself as she discovers that although she can order the rest of the world around, she cannot control her own guilt, right at the opening of this speech, lady macbeth makes her position known when she describes “my” battlements. the use of the possessive pronoun emphasises that she thinks of the castle walls as being her own. she follows this by calling “come you spirits.” the use of this magic spell has two effects on the audience: firstly, she is calling for dark magic to come and support her. this would have reminded the audience of the possibility that she was a witch and had all the evil powers connected with them. also, she is using an imperative here: “come you spirits.” she’s not asking them but telling them. this shows that she expects even the supernatural world to answer to her demands. one of the things she demands is that they “stop up the access and passage to remorse.” this means that lady macbeth doesn’t want to feel any regret for what she is about to do, which would make her powerful. she is no longer going to be slowed down by feelings of compassion or care in her pursuit of power. finally, she says that the spirits should “take my milk for gall.” here, she is asking that her own milk be turned to poison. this suggests that she is turning something caring and supportive into something deadly, giving her even more evil powers. also, milk is pure white and suggests innocence and purity so lady macbeth is asking that what is innocent and pure about her gets turned into something deadly. throughout this speech lady macbeth sets herself up as being someone very powerful, who is able to control even the spirits., her power continues throughout the play. lady macbeth suggests the murder and talks macbeth into it – showing that she is powerfully persuasive. she also plans the murder, showing that she is intelligent as well. she also stays calm under pressure, such as when macbeth arrives with the daggers from the murder scene but lady macbeth returns them to the scene so that they don’t get caught. she is also able to manipulate macduff when she faints in shock after they discover duncan’s body. you could easily argue that lady macbeth’s ambition was more powerful than macbeth’s, and that the murder wouldn’t have ever happened with her involvement. she is determined to become powerful and will stop at nothing to get it. at the end the play though she is caught sleepwalking, and she confesses to all that they’ve done. this is interesting, however, as while she is sleep-walking she is not in control of herself so she is not really aware of what she’s doing. it could be the case that lady macbeth herself never felt guilty, though she couldn’t hide her real feelings from her dreams. in the end, she dies. malcolm claims that she killed herself quite violently, but since it happens off-stage we cannot be sure. what is clear is that although she could push macbeth around, and trick macduff, and even order the spirits to do her bidding, she couldn’t order the blood off her own hands., shakespeare presents a very powerful female character in lady macbeth, and although this would have been quite radical for people in jacobean england there were other powerful, female role models to choose from: bloody mary or queen elizabeth are good examples. this play, however, was written for king james who had just taken the throne of england, and james was not a fan of queen elizabeth – who had killed his mother, mary queen of scots (and he might not even have been a big fan of his mum, because she married the man who killed his dad) as a result, james would have enjoyed seeing this powerful woman become such a villain and then getting punished for her crimes..

lady macbeth ambition essay

William Shakespeare

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Macbeth is a play about ambition run amok. The weird sisters ' prophecies spur both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to try to fulfill their ambitions, but the witches never make Macbeth or his wife do anything. Macbeth and his wife act on their own to fulfill their deepest desires. Macbeth, a good general and, by all accounts before the action of the play, a good man, allows his ambition to overwhelm him and becomes a murdering, paranoid maniac. Lady Macbeth, once she begins to put into actions the once-hidden thoughts of her mind, is crushed by guilt.

Both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth want to be great and powerful, and sacrifice their morals to achieve that goal. By contrasting these two characters with others in the play, such as Banquo , Duncan , and Macduff , who also want to be great leaders but refuse to allow ambition to come before honor, Macbeth shows how naked ambition, freed from any sort of moral or social conscience, ultimately takes over every other characteristic of a person. Unchecked ambition, Macbeth suggests, can never be fulfilled, and therefore quickly grows into a monster that will destroy anyone who gives into it.

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lady macbeth ambition essay

Macbeth – A* / L9 Full Mark Example Essay

This is an A* / L9 full mark example essay on Macbeth completed by a 15-year-old student in timed conditions (50 mins writing, 10 mins planning).

It contained a few minor spelling and grammatical errors – but the quality of analysis overall was very high so this didn’t affect the grade. It is extremely good on form and structure, and perhaps could do with more language analysis of poetic and grammatical devices; as the quality of thought and interpretation is so high this again did not impede the overall mark. 

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MACBETH EXAMPLE ESSAY:

Macbeth’s ambition for status and power grows throughout the play. Shakespeare uses Macbeth as an embodiment of greed and asks the audience to question their own actions through the use of his wrongful deeds.

In the extract, Macbeth is demonstrated to possess some ambition but with overriding morals, when writing to his wife about the prophecies, Lady Macbeth uses metaphors to describe his kind hearted nature: “yet I do fear thy nature, / It is too full o’th’milk of human kindness”. Here, Shakespeare presents Macbeth as a more gentle natured being who is loyal to his king and country. However, the very act of writing the letter demonstrates his inklings of desire, and ambition to take the throne. Perhaps, Shakespeare is aiming to ask the audience about their own thoughts, and whether they would be willing to commit heinous deeds for power and control. 

Furthermore, the extract presents Macbeth’s indecisive tone when thinking of the murder – he doesn’t want to kill Duncan but knows it’s the only way to the throne. Lady Macbeth says she might need to interfere in order to persuade him; his ambition isn’t strong enough yet: “That I may pour my spirits in  thine ear / And chastise with the valour of my tongue”. Here, Shakespeare portrays Lady Macbeth as a manipulative character, conveying she will seduce him in order to “sway “ his mind into killing Duncan. The very need for her persuasion insinuates Macbeth is still weighing up the consequences in his head, his ambition equal with his morality. It would be shocking for the audience to see a female character act in this authoritative way. Lady Macbeth not only holds control of her husband in a patriarchal society but the stage too, speaking in iambic pentameter to portray her status: “To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great”. It is interesting that Shakespeare uses Lady Macbeth in this way; she has more ambition for power than her husband at this part of play. 

As the play progresses, in Act 3, Macbeth’s ambition has grown and now kills with ease. He sends three murders to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance, as the witches predicted that he may have heirs to the throne which could end his reign. Macbeth is suspicious in this act, hiding his true intentions from his dearest companion and his wife: “I wish your horses swift and sure on foot” and “and make our faces vizards to our hearts”. There, we see, as an audience, Macbeth’s longing to remain King much stronger than his initial attitudes towards the throne He was toying with the idea of killing for the throne and now he is killing those that could interfere with his rule without a second thought. It is interesting that Shakespeare presents him this way, as though he is ignoring his morals or that they have been “numbed” by his ambition. Similarly to his wife in the first act, Macbeth also speaks in pentameter to illustrate his increase in power and dominance. 

In Act 4, his ambition and dependence on power has grown even more. When speaking with the witches about the three apparitions, he uses imperatives to portray his newly adopted controlling nature: “I conjure you” and “answer me”. Here, the use of his aggressive demanding demonstrates his reliance on the throne and his need for security. By the Witches showing him the apparitions and predicting his future, he gains a sense of superiority, believing he is safe and protected from everything. Shakespeare also lengthens Macbeth’s speech in front of the Witches in comparison to Act 1 to show his power and ambition has given him confidence, confidence to speak up to the “filthy nags” and expresses his desires. Although it would be easy to infer Macbeth’s greed and ambition has grown from his power-hungry nature, a more compassionate reading of Macbeth demonstrates the pressure he feels as a Jacobean man and soldier. Perhaps he feels he has to constantly strive for more to impress those around him or instead he may want to be king to feel more worthy and possibly less insecure. 

It would be unusual to see a Jacobean citizen approaching an “embodiment” of the supernatural as forming alliance with them was forbidden and frowned upon. Perhaps Shakespeare uses Macbeth to defy these stereotypical views to show that there is a supernatural, a more dark side in us all and it is up to our own decisions whereas we act on these impulses to do what is morally incorrect. 

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Home — Essay Samples — Literature — Macbeth Ambition — Macbeth: An Analytical of Ambition and its Consequences

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Macbeth: an Analytical of Ambition and Its Consequences

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Published: Feb 7, 2024

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Introduction, macbeth's ambition, lady macbeth's influence, consequences of unchecked ambition, macbeth's tragic end.

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lady macbeth ambition essay

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  1. Lady Macbeth Character Analysis in Macbeth

    Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's most famous and frightening female characters. When we first see her, she is already plotting Duncan's murder, and she is stronger, more ruthless, and more ambitious than her husband. She seems fully aware of this and knows that she will have to push Macbeth into committing murder.

  2. ⇉Ambition in Lady Macbeth Essay Example

    Ambition in Lady Macbeth. "The great ambition, unchecked by principle, an unruly tyrant" (Alexander Hamilton). In Macbeth, unchecked ambition for the power is the main message of the play, and it transforms the main characters to a ruthless, violent and heartless tyrant. At the same time, the strong desire for power also catch up Lady ...

  3. PDF Six Macbeth' essays by Wreake Valley students

    Lady Macbeth is full of ambition and the use of repetition in "fail" shows that there is some ... Level 7 essay Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth in the extract as a manipulative, spiteful and selfish character. We can first see this when she uses emotional blackmail to manipulate Macbeth in killing King

  4. Macbeth Key Theme: Ambition

    Ambition is Macbeth's fatal character flaw, his hamartia: In tragedy, a tragic hero must have a tragic flaw. In Macbeth, as in most tragedy, the tragic hero's hamartia is the cause of their own downfall: Macbeth's ambition to gain, and retain, the throne leads to him committing more and more evil acts. Other characters seek revenge for ...

  5. AQA English Revision

    The essay below is written using a simple structure: An introductory paragraph to summarise an answer to the question. ... You could easily argue that Lady Macbeth's ambition was more powerful than Macbeth's, and that the murder wouldn't have ever happened with her involvement. She is determined to become powerful and will stop at nothing ...

  6. Lady Macbeth: from Ambition to Madness

    This idea is specifically developed in the characterization of Lady Macbeth through the play. In the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth wants to be ruthless in the pursuit of her ambition for Macbeth to become king, however, as the story progresses, she slowly slips into a madness that is driven by the guilt that she feels from the deadly acts ...

  7. Ambition Theme in Macbeth

    Macbeth is a play about ambition run amok. The weird sisters ' prophecies spur both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth to try to fulfill their ambitions, but the witches never make Macbeth or his wife do anything. Macbeth and his wife act on their own to fulfill their deepest desires. Macbeth, a good general and, by all accounts before the action of the play, a good man, allows his ambition to overwhelm ...

  8. Lady Macbeth in Macbeth

    Characters - AQA Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. Macbeth has a small cast of characters. Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth have the main roles and their ambition and eventual downfall is key to the ...

  9. What quotes in Macbeth reveal Lady Macbeth's ambition to be queen

    Lady Macbeth's concerns about her husband actually do reveal her own ambition and desire. She. . . fear[s] [his] nature; It is too full o' th' milk of human kindnessTo catch the nearest way

  10. The Role of Power and Ambition in The Fate of Lady Macbeth

    This essay offers a clear and focused analysis of the role of power and ambition in the fate of Lady Macbeth. The essay is well-organized and presents a solid argument that is supported by textual evidence. The author uses effective sentence structures and demonstrates a good command of grammar and voice.

  11. Lady Macbeth Ambition Essay

    Lady Macbeth Ambition Essay. "Lady Macbeths own abition is the real driving force behind Macbeths actions" Discuss In play Macbeth, Lady Macbeth is one of William Shakespeare's most dominant and frightening female characters, known for her ambitious nature. As Macbeth's wife, her role is significant in his rise and fall from royalty.

  12. PDF Esha Manjal LADY MACBETH essay

    Ultimately, Shakespeare, through the character of Lady Macbeth, explores the repercussions of going against your position in the Great Chain of Being, and describes the process of following ambition in the nonexistence of morality. At the start of the play, Shakespeare begins his depiction of Lady Macbeth by presenting her as the arguable ...

  13. Macbeth

    MACBETH EXAMPLE ESSAY: Macbeth's ambition for status and power grows throughout the play. Shakespeare uses Macbeth as an embodiment of greed and asks the audience to question their own actions through the use of his wrongful deeds. ... Lady Macbeth uses metaphors to describe his kind hearted nature: "yet I do fear thy nature, / It is too ...

  14. Lady Macbeth Ambition Essay

    Lady Macbeth Ambition Essay. In the play Shakespeare brings Macbeth and Lady Macbeth together through their ambition. However, throughout the play they are brought apart by their personality. Lady Macbeth manipulates her husband and afterwards Macbeth regrets killing Duncan, but is told by Lady Macbeth to not think about such things.

  15. Macbeth Ambition Essay

    Long Essay on Macbeth Ambition is usually given to classes 7, 8, 9, and 10. ... Lady Macbeth's ambition overrides her husband's, and she convinces him to murder the current king. One could say that without Lady Macbeth, the murder would not have taken place. When Lady Macbeth criticizes Macbeth accusing him of not loving her and doubting ...

  16. Lady Macbeth Ambition

    Lady Macbeth is an essential character used by Shakespeare to present a powerful woman that can cause such wicked acts and use Macbeth to acquire the scheming "solely sovereign sway and masterdom" that will change her life and nature from a categorised traditional woman to the Queen of Scotland with legitimate power (Act 1, Scene 5, Line 77).

  17. Lady Macbeth's Ambition Essay

    Lady Macbeth's Ambition Essay. 658 Words3 Pages. Ambition is a powerful emotion in an individual's mind. It can benefit them or drastically hurt them. I have noticed in the play, "Macbeth" by WIlliam Shakespeare, that most of the important characters, especially Lady Macbeth, are very ambitious people. Once Lady Macbeth hears about the ...

  18. Lady Macbeth: Victim of Ambition Essay

    Macbeth and Witches Essay. his ambition, the influence of Lady Macbeth, or the prophecies from the three witches. Draw explicitly on quotations and plot development to support your ideas. Macbeth, a tragedy scripted by William Shakespeare in the 17th century, shows the effects a desire for power can have over a man.

  19. Central Idea: Is Lady Macbeth a Villain or a Victim?

    When Macbeth sees Banquo's ghost at the banquet, Lady Macbeth again covers for him. But, sensing her regret, he hides his plans to kill Lady Macduff and her children. Not only has Macbeth become a stranger to himself, he is also a stranger to his wife, who now has no ally and is isolated in her guilt. The last time we see Lady Macbeth she is ...

  20. Macbeth: an Analytical of Ambition and Its Consequences

    Introduction. Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare, is a tragic play that explores themes of ambition, power, and moral corruption. The protagonist, Macbeth, is initially portrayed as a brave and noble soldier, but his unchecked ambition leads him to commit heinous acts and ultimately brings about his own downfall. This essay will examine the role of ambition in Macbeth and highlight its ...

  21. Lady Macbeth: Ambition, Power, and Cruelty Free Essay Example

    Lady Macbeth, while not the central character, plays a pivotal role in the unfolding tragedy. This essay delves into the intricate layers of Lady Macbeth's character, analyzing her great ambition, the value she places on power and wealth over human life, and the cruelty that defines her throughout the play.