People all around us make it easy to change and persuade our ambitions, however, our internal desires are what force us into action. In William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth, it is made clear to us that even though the witches have predicted Macbeth’s rise in power, Lady Macbeth urges Macbeth to commit crimes to fulfill their ambition. Nevertheless, these two sources aren’t the full reason Macbeth’s murderous actions have been committed, as his desires to become king are clearly evident in his actions and behaviors. Through the protagonist we see how Macbeth’s actions are influenced by the three witches, his wife, Lady Macbeth, however, it is his desire to become king that is largely the reason for his ambition. Macbeth is first persuaded by the three witches who predicted that he will be king. “All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Glamis! All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor! All hail, Macbeth! that shalt be king hereafter.”(The Witches, pg 14). Macbeth foolishly believes the witches prediction without any validation. Banquo does not pay much attention to the words of the witches, but Macbeth chooses to believe in those mistaken predictions. Although the witches predictions are believed by Macbeth, his own ambitions drive him to commit murderous actions to attain the crown. Even though all the predictions the witches made towards Macbeth were somewhat at fault, they were not the ones who convinced Macbeth to murder. The thought of murder and betrayal must have crossed Macbeth’s mind because his guilt was noticed by Banquo: “Good sir, why do you start, and seem to fear things that do sound so fair?” (Banquo, pg 14). The witches have approached Macbeth with titles that he does not possess but his ambitions are accomplished through murder. Banquo doesn’t know of Macbeth’s murderous plans, and thinks that the witches are simply paying Macbeth a compliment but these compliments further his desire for titles and acclimation. Macbeth’s ambition is triggered by the witches, but not played out, until Lady Macbeth encourages him to fulfill the witches prophecy.Macbeth’s “black and deep desires”(Macbeth, pg 28) frighten him and he refuses to speak of them honestly, but he sends a letter to his wife, Lady Macbeth, explaining the situation. Lady Macbeth, promotes the idea of murder because she believes this is possibly the only chance to accomplish their ambition which is to heighten their social status among their peers. Macbeth allows his wife to influence him by accusing him of not being a ‘man’ and says that she would kill her own baby to have their ambition achieved. “I have given suck, and know how tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me. I would, while it was smiling in my face, Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums, And dashed the brains out, had I sworn as you Have done to this”(Lady Macbeth, 44). Even though Macbeth is strong mentally and physically, he isn’t capable of saying no to the murder plot, with his conscience telling him how bad the downfall will be. Instead of listening to his conscience, he ignores his guilt that he feels and continues with his ambition. Even his mind, was absorbed by the thoughts of murder. “Is this a dagger which I see before me, the handle toward my hand? Come let me clutch thee. I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.” (Macbeth, pg 50&52). Macbeth already had expressed doubt about killing Duncan, but was persuaded by his wife to complete their plan. Macbeth is overwhelmed by the dreadful task, and hence the reason he imagines seeing a dagger floating ahead of him, leading him to Duncan’s chamber. This proves how Macbeth drove his ambition, by not listening to his conscience.Macbeth is a destructive king who destroys himself by his own selfish desires. Although the witches and Lady Macbeth influenced Macbeth, he is responsible for his own downfall. Macbeth starts planning right from the beginning as the witches announce the possible term of his future to rise to king. The witches and Lady Macbeth encourage Macbeth, however, he is responsible for his own actions. Macbeth does it all. He kills Duncan, then shuts his wife out of the decision-making process, then orders his men on a killing spree. At the beginning of the play, Macbeth is described as a fearless hero of Scotland who has bravely won the war. As the story continues, Macbeth soon becomes a bully of a king who is willing to murder anyone who develops into a threat to his kingdom. Later in the play, we see how his willingness to murder anyone leads to the death of his wife, friends, and himself. “She would have died later anyway. That news was bound to come someday.”(Macbeth, pg 202). This quote shows that Macbeth has no sense of remorse, he had become so set on becoming king he did not care what happened to anyone else in the end. Ambition has destroyed Macbeth’s morals and virtue. Macbeth is hugely persuaded by the three witches and Lady Macbeth. However, he is the reason for all the actions he committed. Macbeth decided to listen to the witches and his wife instead of listening to his own conscience. Rather than considering his morals, Macbeth’s overall ambition of attaining the crown far outweighed his moral compass, leading him to destruction. Sometimes when you want something so badly, your ambition can blur your vision of right and wrong, and you end up having no sense of feelings except towards your desire.
September 1, 2019 0 Comments