Last Updated 12 Mar 2020

Macbeth’s Downfall Was Brought on by His Ambition

Category Macbeth
Essay type Research
Words 624 (2 pages)
Views 312

The tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare outlines how the lust for power can bring out the worst in people. This is evident through Macbeth’s vaulting ambition to be king which ultimately leads to his downfall. Through Macbeth wrestling with his conscience about the prophesies of the witches he started to gain the trait of ambition. We also see his ambition continue to grow through the persuasion by his soul mate which is also shown through the 1961 CBC TV production of Macbeth.

His want to stay king brought out the tyrant within him and shows the evil side of Macbeth, letting his ambition take over. His growth of ambition through the play leads to his tragic death. Macbeth was given a glimpse of prosperity through the witches prophesies. “All hail Macbeth, thou art shalt be king hereafter” the use of the prophesises outlines foreshadowing within the play. The witches are telling Macbeth of his future and he is left to wrestle with his conscience.

This is shown when Macbeth in his soliloquy says “this supernatural soliciting cannot be ill, cannot be good/ if ill why hath it given me earnest success” we see Macbeth wrestling with his conscience and his ambition starting to grow, he is starting to believe the witches and the seed of ambition is planted inside him, which is the first step leading to his demise. We see Macbeth’s ambition continue to grow and lead to his death through the persuasion of lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth uses guilt to talk Macbeth into committing regicide and becoming king.

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This is shown through the quote “wouldst thou have that which thou esteemst the ornament of life and live a coward in thine own esteem letting “I dare not” wait upn “I would” like the poor cat I th’adage” the simile “the poor cat I th’adage outlines how Lady Macbeth uses guilt to talk Macbeth into killing the king by calling him a coward. This is also shown in the 1961 CBC tv production of Macbeth when Lady Macbeth is using her feminism to persuade Macbeth, causing his ambition to grow even more.

When you durst do it, then you were a man and to be more than what you were, you would be so much more the man” this quote shows how Lady Macbeth uses guilt and calling Macbeth a coward to persuade him to commit regicide. The persuasion of Lady Macbeth causes Macbeth’s ambition to continue to grow which another step is leading to his downfall. Macbeth’s desire to stay king brings out the tyrant within him, his vaulting ambition causes wrath on anyone who stands in his path, even his closest friend.

This is shown when Macbeth is planning to kill his best friend, Banquo, “come seeling night/scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day and with thy bloody and invisible hand cancel and tear to pieces tgar great bond which keeps me pale” the use of dramatic irony in this quote shows us how much Macbeth’s ambition has taken over, and how he is not even hesitatint to murder his bestfriend, he is wishing for the night to come when Banquo’s death finally happens so all his fears will be washed away and he will be able to remain king.

Macbeth’s desire to stay king causes him to kill his bestfriend, his ambition has taken over fully by this stage which is the final factor contributing to his death. We see Macbeths ambition start to grow when he is wrestling with his conscience about the witches prophesies. Furthermore , his ambition continues to grow through the persuasion of regicide from his soul mate and Macbeths desire to stay king unleashes his ambition, all these aspect contribute to Macbeth’s vaulting ambition, thus leading to his tragic death.

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Macbeth’s Downfall Was Brought on by His Ambition. (2017, May 28). Retrieved from

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