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Ambition in Macbeth

Uploaded by Admin on Nov 20, 1999

In Shakespearean times, ambition was seen to be wrong, as it went against the natural order. You had to accept yourself for who you were. People were not encouraged to better themselves. In act I scene I, the three witches plan to meet Macbeth upon a heath. They announce the major theme of the play: appearances can be deceptive. "Fair is foul, and foul is fair" line 10. Macbeth in Act I echoes this in Scene three, "So foul and fair a day I have not seen" These contradictions introduce a feeling of opposing forces at war. They are a symbol of the struggles that take place in the play. This could tie in with the scene in which Lady Macbeth tells her husband to "..Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under 't." At the beginning of scene three, the witches greet him with, 'Hail, Macbeth that shalt be King hereafter.' This stuns Macbeth leaving him lost for words. He is then told that he will be Thane Of Cawdor, but Macbeth knows he lives 'a prosperous gentleman.' Macbeth is unaware that The Thane Of Cawdor was a traitor to the King and had fought on the opposing side in the battle. Notice how Macbeth and Banquo repeat the witches' words, almost as though the witches have some supernatural influence over them. With that the witches disappear. By this time, the audience is sensing something very wrong, as they were firm believers in witches and witchcraft. Women who were thought to be witches were burned at the stake. If the witches were not in the play, then there would not be any ambition sparked off in Macbeth. Soon, Ross and Angus see Macbeth and Banquo and they tell Macbeth that he is the new Thane Of Cawdor. The Thane was a traitor to the King. Thoughts cross Macbeth's mind, thoughts of murder, treachery and deceit. His ambition is getting the better of him. Later in Act I scene V, Lady Macbeth receives a letter from her husband telling her about the witches' prophecies. She believes instantly in the prophecy and assumes even more quickly than Macbeth that Duncan must be murdered for it to come true. Her only worry is that her husband is 'to full o' the milk of human kindness' to do the deed. She sees this as a weakness that she must chastise out of him. When they meet and discuss murdering Duncan, she calls him a...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   11/20/1999

Category:   Macbeth

Length:   2 pages (474 words)

Views:   1369

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