Ambition

  • Created by: phoebee_x
  • Created on: 22-05-19 19:32
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  • AMBITION
    • Main theme in Macbeth
      • Ambition motivates MB to commit terrible deeds, changes from 'valiant' soldier to 'dead butcher'
      • Play shows how ambition is dangerous- can quickly spiral out of control. MB considers morality of killing Duncan, but doesn't hesitate about killing Banquo.
      • Once MB starts killing, he has to kill more people to aim for what he wants, and to secure his throne. This shows that it can make people ruthless and selfish.
      • Both MB and LMB are destroyed by their spiralling ambition, as it's not balanced by reason or morals- only greed.
    • "I have no spur... but only/Vaulting ambition"
      • MB knows he's very ambitious, so this fuels his decision to kill Duncan.
        • Lady MB thinks he's not ambitious enough, so manipulates him until he spirals out of control.
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    • Ambition is MB's "fatal flaw"
      • In Shakespeare's tragedies, the hero is usually a noble person with one main flaw that leads to their downfall.
      • He's a brave hero at the start, Duncan calls him "noble" and LMB says he "wouldst not play false" to get what he wants.
      • MB's reluctance to kill Duncan shows that he's moral, but his actions emphasise how strong his ambition is. it has the strength to make him act against his morals.
      • It makes him act against his better judgement. He knows that ambition often "o'erleaps itself/ And falls" - it can lead a person to aim too high, so that they fail and lose everything. This foreshadows his own downfall, as by the end of the play he's labelled a "tyrant"

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