Analyzing Lady Macbeth and the Theme of Ambition in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Last Updated: 03 Jan 2023
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Ambition is a blessing to an extent But at a certain point it can become a curse. Having Ambition is the only way to have success and achieve goals. Without ambition no one would have goals or a need to achieve them. As with all things ambition is something that needs to be used in moderation. Too much ambition will lead to an unfulfilling, unhappy and unimaginably lonely life. Shakespeare uses Lady Macbeth in Macbeth to prove that strong ambitions can create greater losses than rewards.

Marriage is one of the most valued and special relationships one can have, it's supposed to be a lifelong bond that will be most cherished. Lady macbeth had a wonderful marriage and she was very happy with her partner. Once lady macbeth had pressured her husband into killing someone she realized her mistake in that she had destroyed her one true love. Lady macbeth became aware of the fact that shed turned her husband into a killer and made him go insane and she knew that she couldn't take back any of her actions we can see this when she said "the thane of fife had a wife. Where is she now? What, will these hands ne'er be clean? no more o' that, my lord, no more o' that. You mar all with this starting." and "...what's done cannot be undone..." In this case Lady macbeth's ambition helped her achieve her goal at her husbands expense. Lady macbeth lost her dearest relationship for her ambitions.

Happiness is one of the most pleasant, fulfilling and important emotions. Everyone deserves and wants to be happy. Lady macbeth had a very happy life with her husband being a hero and a noble and her living in a castle with all she could ever want or need. Ambition lead lady macbeth to believe that her perfect life wasn't enough and that she needed more, that she needed to be queen. Once lady macbeth attained her status as queen and tasted success she lost her happiness she said "naught's had, all's spent, where our desire is got without content. 'Tis safer to be that which we destroy than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy." From this quote we know that lady macbeth regrets her choices and she isn't happy, she thinks it'd be nicer to be dead than be in her situation. Lady macbeth's ambition gave her all she had ever dreamed for but it robbed her of her happiness and with fruitless joy.

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Surviving is the most basic need above all else. Living is more important than love, happiness and success. Lady macbeth was very fortunate to not only be living she lived very comfortably and happily as a noble lady. Ambition got the best of lady macbeth and she was greedy to take more than she already had. Once she had all she wanted and still wasn't happy she killed herself as we know from the line "... his fiend- like queen (who, as 'tis thought, by self and violent hands, took off her life) ..." In the end lady macbeth's ambition cost her her life, the rewards she reaped from her success were none too great to trump the losses she underwent due to her ambition and so she took her life into her own hands.

To conclude excessive amounts of ambition always have prices to pay for the rewards the give. Ambition can cost someone their relationships, their happiness and in extreme cases even their life. Lady macbeth's situation was very extreme but we can still see similar less extreme cases to this day. Whether it be a career choice to move far away or starting a new project, everything we do has gains and losses attached. Overall strong ambition can bring high prizes at high stakes, every ambitious choice we make will have good and bad sides to it.

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Analyzing Lady Macbeth and the Theme of Ambition in Macbeth by William Shakespeare. (2023, Jan 03). Retrieved from

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