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Macbeth's Ambition and Challenge

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Jennifer Palmaioli English 831-04 10 April 2002 Macbeth's Ambition and Challenge The tragedy of Macbeth portrays the sacrifices of ambition and the devastating results that spring from evil's hands ("Personal Works and Writings"). "With deepest seriousness that forms Macbeth's character is his 'tragedy' is that as soon as he surrenders conscience to ambition he becomes, precisely, a two-dimensional, melodramatic personality, and a hollow man" (McLeish 176). Lady Macbeth is the major catalyst to Macbeth's ambition. In the tragedies of Shakespeare, man's challenge to his resilience and despair in the face of adversity has been intimated linked to each of Shakespeare's four tragic protagonists or central character exhibiting a flaw (Danby 157). In the play of Macbeth, we see the changes within Macbeth, as he revolutionizes from a hero, courageous and bold in combat, to a slayer, engulfed with guilt, until he finally becomes a cold-blooded and tyrannical ruler, emptied of human emotions. These changes, though they are drastic, are predictable, predestined and fated. The real tragedy of Macbeth lies in the evil's triumph over the good. ...read more.


Lady Macbeth's thoughts and feelings throughout the play reflect those of Macbeth but it seems that Lady Macbeth is the stronger partner (Brown 299). With no doubt Lady Macbeth isn't a character of these varieties of traits, but she directly affects his behavior. We see how much she affects him; at least she thinks she does, during the soliloquy of her thoughts after the reading of the letter ("Think Quest"). Palmaioli 3 Macbeth struggles extremely and very intensely while Lady Macbeth challenges his manhood. This was by stating that hesitation and failure in this regard of action would be cowardly. Lady Macbeth never thought twice about the murder because she wanted to become queen ("Shakespeare's Campfire"). After Macbeth murders Duncan, he drowns himself in guilt. He tells his wife, "I could not say 'Amen!' / When they did say 'God bless us! (Shakespeare II.2.41-42). His terrible deed has cut himself from God because he has sinned ("Personal Works and Writings"). Macbeth's guilt taunts him further as he imagines himself hearing, "Sleep no more! Macbeth does murder sleep"(Shakespeare II.2.49-50). ...read more.


For Macbeth, the world's humanity has turned into a second hell towards the end of the play. But it really asks many questions such as, was it really worth it for Lady Macbeth to convince and challenge Macbeth into the murder? He contrasted his life to the short-lived fragile candle, easily turned into ashes of dust and blown away. Appearing real but retaining no substance, life is just a stage full of players who goes through their respectively assigned part. When one actor finishes, one goes off the stage and they are then heard no more. It is just another play told by a fool, a series of nonsense and rubbish full of great passion and fierce, but in the end meaningless ("Play Synopsis"). Palmaioli 5 Ambition is something that everyone can recognize within himself or herself, and Macbeth is a compelling study of how ambition can destroy your life and also others and is his second biggest flaw next to Lady Macbeth. Therefore the audience is interested in Macbeth's character. Lady Macbeth actually is important to Macbeth's characteristics by bringing out the real him. In conclusion, Macbeth's characteristics make him unique, but also made him very weak. ...read more.

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