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How Macbeths Ambition Leads To His Demise English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 694 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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What kind of demented actions would someone have to do to turn everyone who he thought he believed was his family, his friends, his allies, his kingdom, against him? Macbeth is a man with ambition, too much ambition, which in the end leads to his tragic demise. He begins as a noble Scottish lord, loves his wife, friends with just about everyone in his country. But his greed, his lust for power, is what drags him down. His judgment is skewed; he can only see ideas that will help him obtain what he wants. The intentions of this essay

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Banquo. He was there when the wiches gave himself and Macbeth their apparitions, Banquo knows, Banquo suspects Macbeth of the Murder, because Macbeth had a motive to do so. But when Macbeth picks up on Banquo’s suspicion, Macbeth decides to act hastily. He hires 2 murderers to kill Banquo, but also sends a third murderer to keep these first 2 murderers in line. This is a sign of Macbeth’s paranoia, that he can’t trust these men who are doing evil for him. Macbeth knows that Banquo, and his son fleance, would be coming to the banquette

he has organised for the Scottish lords. But Macbeth knows that Banquo

won’t be joining them that night. Macbeth’s paranoia is still increasing, he is willing to kill his best friend, and his son to stay on the throne and keep the prophecy from coming true. Later throughout the play, Macbeth begins to lose his sense of humanity. He loses so much, in fact, that when he finds out about Macduff’s fleeing to England, he sends some murderers to kill his family. His rage and tyrannic nature at this point sends him to do the most evil things without thinking about it. This action, killing Macduff’s family, leads to the turning of Macduff, from ally to enemy. This is just another day of work in Macbeth’s mind now, but to others, it is a horrible, evil thing that he has just accomplished.

Macbeth begins to corner himself. He cuts himself off from the outside world. His wife, who he loved and cared about at the start, has become isolated, she feels the guilt of killing Duncan, and is slowly going mad. Macbeth is so concerned about holding onto the throne, he loses all human emotion. The ambition has taken over him. He only thinks of one thing. The throne. He has lost all his allies. He has lost all his friends. But there is one thing that Macbeth has kept with him this whole time, his ambition, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. He has put everything he wanted first, and left everything that is important last, and has sealed his own downfall. His warped sense of what is right and wrong, and how to do

things are skewed, he cannot see the truth. His actions and whatever he does are completely different to what another person would call normal. In the end, he is described

as a “dead butcher” (V.ix.36) by Malcolm, the new king of Scotland.

Macbeth’s downfall is a result of his tragic flaw which is his “vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself” (l,vii,27). It made him not realize that his desire for power became an obsessive trait; because of it he was never fully satisfied with the power that he had. This made him go on murdering after the first murder which crowned him king. In the end he became a tyrant and his own people lead him to his death. Macbeth’s view of reality became distorted. He saw things in such a way that were in his favour only. This impaired his judgment which in turn lead him to make the wrong decisions. The wrong decisions that he made resulted in his defeat and unsightly death. Through Macbeth’s constant need to fulfill his ambition he became very involved with himself and failed to take other people into consideration. This made him lose his feelings towards people especially those that cared for him most. In the end this loss of emotion left him alone and it lead to his downfall.

These traits that Macbeth developed throughout the play are due to the fact that he could not gain control of his ambition that grew more with time and lead to his tragic demise.


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