Too much ambition clouds the mind of the senses of what is right and what is wrong. In the play, Macbeth by William Shakespeare depicts the struggles of Macbeth dealing with his ambitions. Macbeth is given prophecies that bolster his ambitions to become king. Because of his insatiable lust for the prophecies, his ambition leads him to his downfall. Ambition not only destroys him but ambition help develops his character throughout the play.
In the rising action of the play Macbeth is indecisive of his actions and can be easily influenced by outside agents because of his lack of ambition. However, when Macbeth is overwhelmed with his ambitions, he becomes decisive of his actions and becomes a ruthless tyrant. In the beginning of the play Macbeth is portrayed as an honorable war chieftain greatly revered for his success in battle. However, Macbeth does not have any known motives but he is indecisive about his actions. Evidence supporting this can be traced to the first words that come out of his mouth.
“So foul and fair a day I have not seen” (I.iii.9).
This reveals that he cant choose whether that day is good or bad. He cannot think properly and has neither a bad motive nor a good one. This is also an echo of the fair is fowl and fowl is fair. Ultimately, this means that Macbeth in the beginning has no motive. If there is no motive, there is no ambition, and if there is no ambition he can be easily be persuaded by outside agents. Yet Macbeth is indecisive about his actions evidence of him think on his own feet. But his wife infects his mind with false ambition to proceed with the assassination.
Macbeth reasons with the idea that, “I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on the other” (I.vii.25-28).
In this passage, Macbeth personifies his ambition to a horse ride. Using images of horse riding, he compares his ambition to an over eager rider who tries to leap onto his saddle but leaps right over. Macbeth is fully aware that his plan to kill Duncan for the throne is wrong and that false ambition will lead to his downfall. He knows that too much ambition will cloud his mind, blurring all other things that have importance. But the brief moment of self-awareness is crushed when lady Macbeth assaults Macbeth with de-masculine type remarks.
When all positions are in place and the only thing left to do is the assassination, Macbeth hesitates one last time before he completely change his mindset where he imagines himself of someone else. “To know my deed, ‘twere best not know myself”(II.ii.92). Again, he lets lady Macbeth to get inside his head that the deed must be done.
He wants his mind to be masked with one of some on capable of this action when he himself cannot accomplish with a conscious one. Since Macbeth is indecisive, he lets outside influences to help make his decisions. This helped generate his character. He at first was an honorable captain but now he’s has let himself become a murderer to cease power.
His ambition was not strong initially but with the influence of outside agents, he let his ambition lead him lead into false power. The type of power tyrants attain by using force. Relating to the central idea, his strong ambition for the throne shaped him into what type of character he is.
Once Macbeth had his own momentum going his ambition to rule clearly shows that he makes his decisions on his own. No longer can lady Macbeth influence Macbeth.When Macbeth plots to kill Banquo he tells lady Macbeth, “be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck, till thou applaud the deed. Come, seeling night, scarf up the tender eye of pitiful day, and with thy bloody and invisible hand”(III.ii.50-54). When Macbeth excludes lady Macbeth from the plot, this marks the gender role change.
Lady Macbeth becomes subservient and Macbeth becomes the alpha male. The change is signifying that Macbeth decisive and makes decisions on his own. This relates to the central idea because Macbeth’s ambitions made him trust no one and independent. Macbeth had isolated himself from everyone else and that’s the type of person came in result of his ambition. Macbeth also has an honorable ambition which make the audience pity him. Somewhere on the battlefield Macbeth encounters Macduff, the only man that can slay Macbeth.
At the end the last words that Macbeth says are, “to kiss the ground before young Malcolm’s feet, and to be baited with the rabble’s.