Last Updated 03 Jan 2023

Lady Macbeths Ambition in the Play Macbeth by William Shakespeare

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Lady Macbeth is a woman of great ambition not necessarily towards a particular end. She sees herself as powerful and ambitions and does all that she can to remove any obstacle to her power. She does not want to give nature the power that it demands. Her power consists in going against nature and not receiving the punishment. Lady Macbeth's ambition to have power outside of natural limitations leads to her suicide. Lady Macbeth's ambition to have power outside of natural limitations leads to her pray for the removal of her femininity. Lady Macbeth's prayer for freedom from her femininity leads an impasse where she can neither go forward or backward. Lady Macbeth's impasse leads to her suicide.

Lady Macbeth's ambition to have power outside of natural limitations leads to her pray for the removal of her femininity. Lady Macbeth' fears being without control. Her ambition takes her past the realm of the natural order of life. She would not let the motherly care have power in her heart. All things that have great power within them naturally she sees as restrictions upon her. She fears that Macbeth can not overcome the power of this order when she says, Yet do I fear thy nature. / It is too o' the' milk of human kindness / to catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great, / art not without ambition, but without/ the illness should attend it.

Human kindness also is another restriction that holds her ambition from reality. She wants to kill King Duncan but does not want humanity's punishment for murder. She prays that her womanliness, the weakness that can not bring her ambition to fruition, will be replaced with effective power. She says, unsex me here, and fill me from the crown to the toe topfull of direst cruelty. She knows the power that murder has in making the murderer mad and incapable then of continuing in the path towards power. Her prayer takes away the women thought that Macbeth is plagued with and She commands him to be manly saying, These deeds must not be thought/after these ways; so, it will make us mad.3 Lady Macbeth prays for cruelty to replace the womanliness that prevents her from going against nature because it stops her ambition.

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Lady Macbeth's prayer for freedom from her femininity leads an impasse where she can neither go forward or backward. Lady Macbeth has bloodied her hands, lost the womanly weakness, accomplished what she set out to do. She was free but could not stay free. She set an end but could do no more. As her husband continued to murder and grow free from the natural order, Lady Macbeth started to realize what she had done. She says to her husband, 'Tis safer to be that which we destroy / Than by destruction dwell in doubtful joy. She is saying that it is better to be murdered than to murder and live in the uncertainty of punishment. She can not guaranty herself that she has the power to avoid all natural punishment. Lady Macbeth can not move forward in her ambition to free herself from nature.

Even worse however is her realization that she can not go back either. She has already bloodied her hands and supported her husband in his murdering. Her prayer to take away her weakness and womanliness only could take her so far and it never provides away to get back. What is done can not be undone and what a burden it is not to be able to make right that which has been wronged.

Lady Macbeth's impasse leads to her suicide. The burden of not being able to right the wrong blinds Lady Macbeth from seeing. Ay, but [her] sense are shut She sees in order to exist but not how to live and to the human, existing is not enough. Lady Macbeth questions her seeming lack of thought in her insanity saying, They Thane of Fife had a wife. Where is she now? In this question she remember the murder of Lady Macduff and how she can not undo that needless murder. And yet she can not move on from it. She can not keep supporting her husband in murder and she can not bring back those who have been murdered. Lady Macbeth is constantly washing her hands, seeing the blood and smelling it.

The cruelty that filled her is not enough to give her the will to dive more fully into the blood of others and it can not be taken out of her. This inability to move, change, tears her apart and givers he no reason to live. Lady Macbeth tries to cheat nature so as to become more powerful but ends up woefullypowerless. She sees the power in nature as power against her and not something to work in harmony with. Her womanly nature has great power like that of a mother's love but Lady Macbeth sees it as something that hinders her from fulfilling her ambitions and swaying her reason. She sees man as weak under nature when in truth man has great power to move and change himself. In all this she sees and does not see. She sees an unsteady yet immediate and more pleasurable power and does not see the unwavering power of nature. Lady Macbeth started by seeking limitless power and ended up with only one choice to make: when to die.

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