• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

IB MYP Essay on Macbeth and Unchecked ambition

Extracts from this document...


Unchecked ambition and its tragic downfall Ambition is more often than not, can be described as the common downfall for those who seek power. In the play "Macbeth", written by William Shakespeare, Macbeth the main character of the play, changes from a good hearted person to a downright greedy and evil man due to unchecked ambition. Another character in the play that ends her life tragically because of ambition is Lady Macbeth. These two characters go through a change as play progresses and their change can be attributed to ambition. In the beginning of the play, Macbeth is portrayed as a loyal Thane to King Duncan but in the end he becomes greedy and ignorant. When Macbeth reports his successful assignment in Cawdor to the King and when King Duncan praises and promotes him, Macbeth replies "The service and loyalty I owe, in doing it, pays itself." (1.5.22-23)Here we can see that Macbeth is a very loyal servant to King Duncan and respects him greatly. The way his personality is described in this scene makes Macbeth out to be the person least likely to murder King Duncan. ...read more.


This is very unlike Macbeth in the beginning in the play as in the beginning Macbeth was unwilling to kill King Duncan but now he becomes a man of action. Macbeth is now willing to do whatever it takes to keep his position of King for himself and his future children. He is no longer self righteous or loyal instead is greedy, lust for power and loses his sense of morals all for the price of power. Another character who is affected by ambition is Lady Macbeth. In the beginning of the play, Lady Macbeth is greedy and lusts for power. Although we never actually see Lady Macbeth before she chanced upon a sign to seize power, we still can see a change of her behavior from the time she reads the letter to the time she convinces Macbeth to commit murder. In Act 1 Scene 5, after Lady Macbeth reads the letter sent to her form Macbeth, she takes it as a sign to kill King Duncan. ...read more.


Instead, due to her mental decline, she sleepwalks and repeats tasks and actions that happen during the night of the murder such as washing her hands. Also when sleep talking; Lady Macbeth also unknowingly starts confessing to the murder of King Duncan. Here we can see how her lust for power and unchecked ambition leads to her downfall and due to her guilt and remorse she commits suicide ending in a tragic death. Here, we can see how ambition can cause a change in people. In Macbeth's case, his lust for power and unchecked ambition led to his sudden change of personality and eventually his tragic death in the end. While in Lady Macbeth's case, ambition did not affect her personality; it affected her mental state which eventually lead to her tragic downfall in the end. In conclusion, whether unchecked ambition causes a change for worse in one's personality or a decline in one's mental health, unchecked ambition more often than not leads to a lust for power which in Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's case caused a tragic downfall. (956 words) Referencing: Shakespeare, W. (1980) Macbeth. New York, New York. Bantam Dell ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. In the famous play Macbeth, William Shakespeare stimulates the senses with both blood imagery ...

    The realist handle and Macbeths desire to grasp it quivers the sense of touch. The dagger makes Macbeth's guilt extremely realistic and emphasises how his guilt is already on his mind, however, not yet on his senses. Since Macbeth feels guilt prior the crime, the emphasis is now put onto the guilt Macbeth feels after the deed.

  2. Who is ultimately responsible for the tragedy that unfolds in Macbeth?

    The prophecies then become a mind game to him and he struggles with his conscious between doing right and wrong. He then strides to make what the witches prophesized true. Lady Macbeth first takes control over her husband in Act I, Scene v.

  1. A comparative essay on Othello and Macbeth

    The characters in Macbeth illustrate the evil and greed of human beings. Macbeth and his wife kill their king so that Macbeth can become king instead; and even after they have achieved this goal Macbeth continues to kill people. Towards the end of the play Macbeth even decides to do whatever comes to his mind."

  2. Macbeth extended essay - the aim of this investigation is to state how ambition ...

    Without ambition, primarily Lady Macbeth's ambition, the play would not be able to sustain itself. The ambition started the play and also has caused the notable major conflicts. How the ambition itself grew and what caused it to start is also an interesting matter.

  1. Extended Essay

    "Bu yemegi karimin serefine d�zenledim. Aylin �ok zor bir isin �stesinden geldi. Benim karim New York'taki psikiyatrlarin en m�thisi en basarilisi. Sister Nancy iyilesti. Bu Sedef Kunter 000755032 kadini ilk geldigi g�n g�rseniz g�zlerinize inanamazdiniz... Yarali bir vahsi hayvan gibiydi..."(AA, s.271)

  2. Hamlet Journal - rewriting key passages from the play

    Being creat does not mean you fight for a noble cause. It means you'd fight over your honor. So where does that leave me, I have the motivation from my father mother and uncle? Meanwhile I watch twenty thousand men go marching to their deaths for nothing more than blind

  1. I know why the caged birds sing - IB Essay

    Vivian is a qualified nurse but, earns money from gambling and working at gambling parlors. She has strong streak for being independent and is also known for her wild ways and live-in relationships. She is not a very attentive a mother, but treats her children well.

  2. How far does Macbeth fit the dramatic model of a tragic hero ?

    So in this soliloquy, which is Macbeth's first one, doubt and hesitation are shown by different ideas and by his behaviour as it is strange and unusual. Another important soliloquy of Act IV, scene ii, in which Macbeth reveals his plan, of killing Macduff and his family, to the audience:

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work