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What motivations to commit crime does Shakespeare supply for Macbeth?

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´╗┐What motivations to commit crime does Shakespeare supply for Macbeth? Despite Macbeth at first understanding that ambitious violations invite retribution, by recognising that ?even-handed justice commends th?ingredience of our poisoned chalice to our own lips?, Shakespeare structurally makes Macbeth?s sheer ambition outrun his initial reasoned approach over the course of the first two acts. The idea of becoming King overwhelms Macbeth, speaking aside and consequently making it clear to the audience that his ambition ?doth unfix my hair and make my seated heart knock at my ribs against the use of nature?. It shakes him to his core, which leads him to beg for the stars to hide their fires, to prevent light from seeing his ?black and deep desires?. The great extent to which ambition motivates Macbeth is made clear when he explains that ?The expedition of my violent love/ Outran the pauser, reason.? The character is attempting to excuse his murder of Duncan?s guards by suggesting that his love for Duncan was so strong it got ahead of his reason. ...read more.


The audience is perhaps reminded of the Biblical passage: ?What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?? Shakespeare has formed a character that is attempting to gain the whole world, without losing his soul, by defying reason and nature. This attempt to ?gain the whole world? is shown to be Macbeth?s main motivation. Once ambition motivates Macbeth to commit one crime, he becomes stuck in a quagmire, so to speak. After committing one murder, he passes the point of no return, and in turn is forced to commit more crimes to keep a grip of his power. Shakespeare makes Macbeth demonstrate this idea to the audience, when he claims that ?to be thus is nothing/ But to be safely thus?. He can only be content about being King when he is secure. As Macbeth is clearly insecure at this point of the play (in Act 3), it thus follows that he must commit further crimes to achieve security, to in turn achieve his ambition of becoming King. ...read more.


of the murder, arguing that they ?shall bear the guilt? of their quell. By giving Macbeth an alibi, and pressuring him to commit crimes by challenging his sexuality, Shakespeare has provided Lady Macbeth as a motivation to commit crimes. However, it would perhaps be inaccurate to argue that the character of Lady Macbeth is the source of motivation, as it is unarguable that her own ambition is what motivates her to motivate Macbeth in to committing crimes. If she had no personal ambition to become Queen, then she would not have attempted to persuade Macbeth to commit the crimes required to become King. In light of these responses, it seems fair to say that Shakespeare presents ambition as the underlying motive for every crime Macbeth commits. Macbeth?s and Lady Macbeth?s own ambition encourages Macbeth to commit the first crime, and as a result of this ambition, by committing one crime he is sucked in and forced to commit others. Ambition is therefore the core reason for Macbeth?s crimes. ...read more.

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