In William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, which is a tragic play. In this play Shakespeare uses certain techniques to convey his ideas. The one idea that I have chosen to base this essay of is ambition and the way he goes about fore filling it and how it effects Macbeth. Ambition is a strong desire to do or achieve something. Macbeths ambition drove him and the world around him to chaos through the evil and cruel deeds he did to achieve his ambition. I will be explaining Macbeths mental mindset that slowly deteriorates as the play unfolds.

A major part of Macbeth committing the actions and crimes he did came from the witches. In act 1 scene 3 of the play the witches say “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!” This prophecy awoke Macbeths powerful ambitions to be king. Before Macbeth kills Duncan he has a vision of an invisible dagger inviting him to kill Duncan. In that scene Macbeth says “Is this a dagger which i see before me, The handle toward my hand? (He speaks to the dagger) Come, let me clutch thee: – I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.” That is a quote of what Macbeth was saying during his hallucination. Macbeths tried to grasp the dagger but could not. Macbeth then realised that he was hallucinating.

At the beginning of the play before Macbeth kills Duncan, he is thinking wether or not he should kill Duncan because Duncan is a good man and he is also king and Macbeths cousin. Killing the king is called regicide, a very unholy thing to do in that time. In that time, the king of a country was considered to be the one who does the tasks of god on earth. Also, his wife (lady Macbeth) was urging Macbeth to murder Duncan and to do what ever it takes to be king, which Macbeth ended up doing through out the play.

At the beginning of the play Macbeth starts brave and willing to do what ever it takes to be king. Shakespeare informs us that in many ways, one of the ways he informs us is through behaviour of the characters in the play when the captain says, “And Fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling Showed like a rebels whore; but alls to weak For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name) Disdaining Fortune, with his brandished steel, Which smoked with bloody execution” This quote is a metaphor that says his sword is smoking from the warm blood of his enemies and that Macbeth is a war hero because he was in battle and executed enemy soldiers.

Macbeth Murdered a-lot of people out of paranoia and fear that they were going to find out what he did to be king. Both Macbeth and lady Macbeth are constantly paranoid and full of fear that others are going to find out that Macbeth had killed the king after Macbeth had killed Duncan. For example, when the Doctor and Gentlewoman come across lady Macbeth sleepwalking and trying to wash the supposed blood of her hands. Lady Macbeth was saying, “Out, damned spot! out, I say!–One: two: why, then, ’tis time to do’t.–Hell is murky!–Fie, my 40 lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?–Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.” Lady Macbeth was talking about people finding out about Macbeth murdering Duncan and her wanting to get the blood and guilt off her and Macbeth.

As I said before, the witches had a major influence on Macbeths actions. In this case. the witches had given Macbeth a false sense of security. At the start of the play, they predict the future that came true. An example of this is when the witches say that Macbeth will become thane of Cawdor and King of scotland. This is what made Macbeth believe the witches and there prophecies. After the witches had gained his trust they than said “Be violent, bold, and firm. Laugh at the power of other men, because nobody born from a woman will ever harm Macbeth.” Because Macbeth believed the witches, he was cocky with his power and believed he could not be killed because of his false sense of security which eventually lead to his downfall. This is a quote of Macbeth being cocky. “They come’. Let our castle’s strength will laugh a siege to scorn; here let them lie till famine and ague eat them up”. This quote which is a metaphor shows Macbeths cockiness also because of his false sense of security that the witches gave him.

A point that Shakespeare is trying to convey is if you fore fill your ambition through crimes and bad deeds you will not get the satisfaction that you were looking for. Macbeth could not sleep because of the guilt, anxiety and fear he had that someone was going to find out that he killed Duncan and Macduff’s family. That is why Macbeth was driven mad. Macbeth did achieve his ambition, but through bad deeds, crimes and murder like when he killed macduff’s family and killing Duncan.  This caused him to feel like he was not worth anything because he did not earn his place as king. This made Macbeth so reckless at the end of the play. This was one of the main points William Shakespeare was trying to get across to his audience and readers in the play Macbeth.





Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. The ideas conveyed in this essay are strong, and you’re now adding good evidence to support these ideas in the form of quotations.

    The main area of focus for the second week of your writing is the style and accuracy of the piece.

    1) You’re writing using the correct formal register

    2) Avoid using the first person “I am going to say three things”, and instead use the third person “There are three ways this is shown in the play”

    3) In some of the paragraphs there are a number of minor errors in spelling and sometimes also in sentence structure. Remember reading your work aloud will help a lot with the sentence structure, so make sure you do this – and also carefully and slowly use the built-in spell-checker when you’re nearer the end of your writing phase.

    It’s going well.


  2. Achievement Achievement with Merit Achievement with Excellence
    Develop and structure ideas in formal writing.

    Use language features appropriate to audience and purpose in formal writing.

    Develop and structure ideas convincingly in formal writing.

    Use language features appropriate to audience and purpose with control in formal writing.

    Develop and structure ideas effectively in formal writing.

    Use language features appropriate to audience and purpose with control to command attention in formal writing.

    Your ideas are VERY strong. You’re organising your writing in clear and logical ways – this is a highly prized skill. The area for development is in the simple accuracy of spelling – terms like ‘fulfilled’ are ones you can learn and use over and over again. Your style is a little variable, sometimes very authoritative, sometimes the sentences are a little clumsy. You’ve come a very long way, and have enormous potential in structured formal writing. This is exciting stuff.


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