Defining Ambition As A POOR Quality English Literature Essay

Ambition is thought as a longing to accomplish something or even as the motivating factor for one's personal success. Everyone has a goal or dream that he / she wishes to achieve, but it is sometimes hard to reach this without some sense of ambition or longing to realize it. The societal view of ambition is considered to be an important quality of any head. Anyone that did great things in his or her life or even desired to do higher things possesses a certain ambitious quality. However, a lot of ambition could lead a person to believe that he or she has to go through extraordinary procedures (good or bad) to reach this aspiration. With that said, ambition should only be possessed to a certain degree, and in The Tragedy of Macbeth, ambition is the only real reason for downfall. The fact that Macbeth gets to such a great fulfillment and high status, yet he's unsatisfied portrays Macbeth's over-ambitious aspect. The corrupt nature of unrestrained ambition clouds one's capacity to think and act rationally, resulting in eventual demise as shown in William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Macbeth through discord, paradox, and symbolism.

The different issues of man vs. self applied exhibited in the play portray high ambition as a negative quality and since the possible consequence of downfall. The first have difficulty over ambition between man and home in Macbeth is seen when Macbeth says, "I've no spur to prick the edges of my intent, but only/Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself/And falls on th' other---" (Mac. 1. 7. 25-28). From this, Macbeth shows that he allows his ambition to control his actions somewhat than motivate him. He understands that he is going to do something incorrect, but he also recognizes there is nothing he is able to do to avoid it. This offer represents how he realizes that his ambition becomes greater than his own objective. At one point, however, Macbeth seems discontent along with his decision to murder Duncan which is shown when he says, "We will move forward no further in this business:/He hath honored me of late, and I've bought/Golden opinions from all sorts of people. " (Mac. 1. 7. 31-33). Macbeth begins to realize that he might maintain a good enough position in contemporary society as is. He starts to question whether or not he should reach a higher standing in a far more dignified way, somewhat than by murdering the king. This quote demonstrates that Macbeth realizes his ambition may lead to something bad - some sort of collapse. The conflict of man vs. personal shown through Macbeth's dialogue and soliloquies throughout the play exhibits the negativity of an exceedingly ambitious quality.

Macbeth's ambitious personality is also exhibited through the witches using paradox throughout the play. The irony on the play starts fairly early when the witches give their prophecies to Macbeth and Banquo. The witches inform Macbeth within an ironic paradox, "All hail, Macbeth! That shalt be king hereafter. " (Mac. 1. 3. 50). Although this assertion holds true, it is ironic because Macbeth didn't realize that his time as king would come out opposite of expected. He most likely believed that he would be wealthy, well well known, and would carry all vitality in Scotland which would make him happy. However, the witches' prophecies were cleverly designed to manipulate his fragile mind. To be able to meet his own ambition, Macbeth kills Duncan hoping that he will reach the joy of being king, when in actuality, his kingship concludes miserably. The witches also display ironic dialogue to exhibit Macbeth's ambitious characteristics through the apparitions. The first and second apparitions completely contradict one another where the first says to beware of Macduff, the second says no person born of girl can harm him. The third apparition also instructs Macbeth that he will be safe until the woods transfer to his house (which seems impossible). With this, the witches are trying to give Macbeth self confidence, however, not true self-confidence - they are trying to give him a incorrect sense of security. They use dual meanings to do this. This heightens his ambitious quality by motivating him to finally reach a happy kingship. However, the reason the witches have for providing him these double meanings foreshadow that this ambition will lead him to demise. The paradoxes found in the witches' dialogue prove and present information into Macbeth's extreme ambition and give hints toward his eventual end.

Lastly, the use of symbolism throughout the tragedy helps in demonstrating the unwanted effects of high ambition. A visible symbolic image in the play sometimes appears through animals, for example, when Girl Macbeth runs on the serpent to symbolize the action of stunning the king when the appropriate time comes. The characteristics of the serpent include witty, evil, and sneaky which straight relate to Female Macbeth's characteristics. This notion proves that ambition is not necessarily a positive quality to obtain. Ambition is portrayed negatively here in that she becomes bad in dynamics. These three characteristics that are descriptive of an serpent and Sweetheart Macbeth prove a person will go through extreme costs to attain whatever he or she wants without a care. The most obvious exemplory case of symbolism, though, is toward the finish when Woman Macbeth begins to show signs of paranoia in her sleeping when she says, "Out, damn'd spot!" (Mac. 5. 1. 35). The "spot" Girl Macbeth tries to remove from her hand symbolizes the various murders that she and her husband are involved in. The fact that she actually is not able to fully clean it off also symbolizes her difficulty overcoming the guilt she seems. This proves that Lady Macbeth slowly starts to lose her mind (which eventually brings about her tragic fate). Although this is not the result of her ambition, her ambition motivated her to go to extraordinary measures to get what she wishes. This motivation does immediately lead to her insanity. By using symbolism, the reader can conclude that ambition not only causes demise, but also a degree of guilt and fighting resulting in downfall.

Society recognizes ambition as a confident quality, but it is an excellent that may easily produce unwanted effects if found in excessive amount. Someone's desire to take action could become too great and lead the individual to go through extremes to achieve what she or he wants. This may (though, not always) lead to a poor outcome. High ambition, when used to do bad things, is not well worth the guilt that accompanies it. The usage of literary elements in Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Macbeth provides plentiful situations in which causes harmful repercussions.

Work Cited

Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Macbeth. 1623. English Literature. Janet Alen et al.

Evanston, Illinois: McDougal Littell, 2008. 342-432. Printing.

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