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Macbeth - Excessive Ambition Leads to Downfall

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´╗┐In the play "Macbeth" written by the playwright William Shakespeare, the development of the idea of excessive ambition leads to downfall and how power corrupts is used to show how being too ambitious can only lead to bad things in life. People of the Elizabethan times would have thought that excess in ambition would only do you wrong, whereas nowadays, people believe the more ambitious you are, the greater you will become. This is developed through Macbeth, as at the start he is a well-respected noble, but when his want for power corrupts him, it leads to the destruction of himself. In the play "Macbeth" many people are portrayed to have personalities that are ready to beg, borrow, steal, and even kill to obtain certain levels of power to soothe his or her ambitions. ...read more.


No contrast of actions in Macbeth is as clear as the contrast between Macbeth and Banquo. They are both similar, and they both share attributes of bravery and loyalty as presented by Shakespeare in both of the men's characters. These are both truly heroic men, but it is after the two characters are greeted by the promise of power that we see how the actions of these two men change them for better or worse. After the Witches promise Macbeth that he will be "king hereafter", Macbeth reacts with an impatient nature and is keen for this power, and it seems he is willing to do anything to get into this position, even killing anyone that would get in his way. Banquo on the other hand, also a hero like Macbeth, does not let the Witches' apparent knowledge of the future affect his ambition. ...read more.


However, during the fall of Macbeth as a character, Shakespeare involved this fall by the lack of use of Iambic Pentameter. Shakespeare uses this technique to highlight a sense of corruption in Macbeth's character. From the lack of Iambic Pentameter and blank verse, it begins to give us a view inside of the character's mind. As with the warp and change of the language, we can contrast this to the distortion of Macbeth's characters' corruption. Through this, we get a feel of how Macbeth's want for ambition overpowers his need to stay good, and this then brings about his downfall, and everything that is good in his life. The actions and dialogue of the main characters and the use of blank verse were used throughout the play "Macbeth" by the playwright William Shakespeare helped me to understand the important issue of how power corrupts, and how it also led to the destruction of Macbeth himself. ...read more.

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  1. What characteristics, other than ambition led to the downfall of Macbeth?

    The audience could understand how mentally unconfident he was when talking to his wife who had made Macbeth feel that it was mandatory to do what the needed to do to reach his goals. This was all because of what the three witches had declared Macbeths future which had tested Macbeths confidence when he confronted with this information.

  2. 'Macbeth is a hero whose ambition proves to be his downfall".

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