The Presence Of Ambition Within Macbeth Essay

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The Presence Of Ambition Within Macbeth Essay, Research Paper The Dead Butcher and His Fiend-Like Queen. Ambition is a quality within every human, however it sometimes drives people to partake in totally unnatural actions. As illustrated in William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, some forms of ambition can push people into becoming a person very sinister and evil. The ambition which Macbeth and Lady Macbeth encounter within Shakespeare’s play not only drives them to become ruthless killers, but is the cause of the two characters meeting their demise. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth turn away from the honest and gentle people they once were and instead become “the dead butcher and his fiend-like queen.” ( V, sc viii, 69) The “fiend-like queen” or Lady Macbeth, is first seen in the

play just after receiving a letter from her husband. This letter was the start of her demise and first presents the change in Lady Macbeth. Only moments after reading the letter, Lady Macbeth learns that the king himself will be staying with her and Macbeth in their castle that evening. At this time she already begins thinking of Duncan’s murder as seen when she comments, “The raven himself is hoarse that croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan…and fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty.” ( I, sc vi, 38-43) At this point she goes to the extent of planning the murder of Duncan and already prepares to assume full responsibility of the murder. During this moment of the play, Macbeth also appears and the influence Lady Macbeth has over him is clearly seen.

She refers to Macbeth as a “coward” ( I, sc vii, 43) which in turn shows the ambition Lady Macbeth has for her husband to gain the crown. Clearly Lady Macbeth’s words and actions towards Macbeth have the affect she wished because Macbeth did end up murdering his own king. Although some may see Lady Macbeth as inhumane, surprisingly she shows signs of kindness and care in some of the most unanticipated points within the play. After all of the preparations have been made to carry out the death of Duncan, Lady Macbeth ponders on killing Duncan herself but humanly tells Macbeth she can not do it because “he resembled my father as he slept.” (II, sc ii, 12-13) Clearly a softer, woman like side of Lady Macbeth is present here, unlike what she asked for by asking the spirits

to “unsex” her (I, sc vi, 41) Even just after the murder occurs, Lady Macbeth shows her compassionate side towards Macbeth by attempting to calm his nerves and even manages to bring a bit of humor and irony in to the situation by saying “These deeds must not be thought after these ways: so, it will make us mad.” (II, sc ii, 32) Lady Macbeth’s attempts to console her husband after so vile a deed are accented when she herself also laces the guard’s daggers with blood and then plants them on them. By doing this she fulfilled her plan of framing Duncan’s guards for the murder as seen when she says “his spongy officers, who shall bear the guilt of our great quell.” (I, sc vii, 71-72.) The morning after the murder, Lady Macbeth exclaimed “What, In our house?” (II,

sc iii, 86) when Macduff announced the news of the king’s death. This fake exclamation is clearly done to draw all of the suspicion away from her and her husband. She takes this “acting” even further when she finds out that Macbeth has himself killed the two guards. Lady Macbeth faints and cries “help me hence, ho!” (II, sc iii, 117) She is then carried out, thus successfully getting every person present the morning after the murder to believe she and her husband had no involvement with the murder. Quite an actress! As the play continues, Lady Macbeth remains strongly in control and manages surprisingly well every possible problem which arises which could show her and her husband’s guilt. Perhaps the greatest illustration of this is the banquet scene which Macbeth