Macbeth Themes - Ambition

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  • Ambition
    • Macbeth's ambition motivates him to commit terrible deeds, such as killing Duncan
    • Banquo is ambitious to recieve a prophecy too, which is shown through the conditional "If you can look into the seeds of time and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak, then, to me"
    • Macbeth describes his ambition by saying "Stars, hide your fires; let not my light see my black and deep desires", which foreshadows what his ambition will consequence in
    • Lady Macbeth doesn't believe that Macbeth is evil enough to achieve his ambition, which is suggested by "Thou wouldst be great, art not without ambition, but without the illness should attend it"
    • The personification of ambition, through "Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself and falls on the other", implies that Macbeth thinks his ambition is too big and there is no good reason to kill Duncan
    • Macbeth thinks his ambition was too big and regrets it, which is shown by the imagery of "I am in blood stepped in so far that, should I wade no more"
    • Macduff says "Either thou, Macbeth, or else my sword, with an unbattered edge", which shows his ambition to avenge his family
    • After the witches' tell Macbeth that he will be king, he decides to kill Duncan which suggests that the witches trigger Macbeth's ambition


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