• 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?

    She tells Macbeth that they will kill Duncan during his sleep. Macbeth has a strong intuition to kill to gain the spot of King.

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

    It can be clearly shown that ambition and greed played a significant part in the play. Essay Topic Question: Macbeth how does the ambition affect the major characters and what does it illustrate? In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the ambition and greed of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth play a big part in the play.

  2. Women in Macbeth

    At first it appeared to be just because she loves him, but as the scene progresses, we find out that she is actually determined that she will be Queen. When Macbeth starts to have doubts, she would question his manly hood and persuades him to go ahead with the King's murder.

  1. Extended Essay

    "Eksik akilli, s�r�mek, tehlikeli" gibi tamlamalar ve s�zc�klerle anlatilan kadin yazarin bakisindan kadinin aptal, entrikaci, erkegin basina bela olan bir varlik olarak tanitilmasi a�ik�a g�r�lmektedir. Yine yazar "k�lkedisi" masalini �rneklerken "Masalin b�t�n varlik nedeni olan saate bakmayi bile 'akil edemeyen' k�lkedisi, ayakkabi tekini merdiven basamaklarina birakarak, ki�ini zor toplayip apar topar ka�abilmisti gecesinden..."

  2. A comparative essay on Othello and Macbeth

    (Act 1, scene..)Macbeth knows that his desire to become king is only possible if he kills king Duncan yet he also knows that what he does is morally wrong and hopes that his desire will never become public Iago is prepared to ruin Casio's career and ruin Othello's marriage so that he is uncontested for the lieutenant spot.

  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