Ambition and Guilt in Macbeth

Ambition and Guilt in Macbeth
by: Writer in the Dark

Macbeth is a tragedy about a man who, guided by the prophecy of three witches and the ambition of his wife and himself, kills his good friend who is the king of Scotland to become king himself, as said the witches prophecy. Many emotions, ambitions, and his wife affect him throughout the story. Ambition and guilt are the two emotions that affect Macbeth and Lady Macbeth during the story. His wife has an unusually strong ambition; she talks Macbeth into the murder in act 1 scenes 5-7. During and after the murder, Macbeth is very affected by his guilt and so is Lady Macbeth.
In the majority of the play, Macbeth’s guilt is very strong and important to many parts. The first major sign of it is just before the murder. His guilt materializes in a hallucination of a bloody dagger that leads him to the chambers of Duncan, the king who he is to murder. Another sign is just after the murder; the blood on their hands shocks Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. This is the first time they truly realize what they have done in a clear point of view. They get away with the murder for a while and Macbeth becomes king, but he is worried about another part of the witches’ prophecy that said his friend and partner, Banquo, would be the father of a whole line of kings. Macbeth wants his children to succeed him to the throne. In order to stop this, Macbeth hires two murderers to kill Banquo in act 3 scene 1. This is just another sign of Macbeth’s ambition. So far, Macbeth has killed or ordered the murder of two of his good friends to become king and keep his plan secure.
However, in act 3 scene 2, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth both talk about how unhappy and afraid they are. They both fear that they will get caught and Macbeth is especially unhappy about having to kill his friends. This shows how bad an influence ambition can be sometimes. In many cases, ambition can be a very useful emotion used to push someone into achieving their goals. It can be the deciding element in a horrible predicament, but it can get too strong and push someone like Macbeth into doing anything and killing anyone in order to become king. Macbeth would probably never have even thought twice about killing anyone in order to become king had he not heard the prophecy of the three witches. This makes one think about the intentions or purpose of the witches, not in relation to the story line, but what they wished to accomplish and why. Perhaps they were symbolic of pure evil and they simply brought fourth the darkness of Macbeth and pushed him into killing and destroying the natural balance of humanity as he knew it. Maybe they are just distraught beings who seek out things to destroy for their own personal amusement. Then maybe they are just hollow characters that Shakespear wrote into the story to start the plot.
In any case, Macbeth was informed by the two murderers that he hired and one other one that joined them that the murder of Banquo had gone as planned but Fleance was with Banquo and escaped. This got Macbeth very nervous but he is reassured that his own sons will succeed him as king. Although he was put to ease and he knew that his sons were to succeed him, he developed more guilt for the murder of his friend Banquo. He was also feeling uneasy about the witches’ prophecy that said Banquo’s sons would be kings, because if the prophecy was true, then Macbeth had cheated fate by killing Banquo. So now the guilt of his friends murder is upon him and, like a depressed teenager, his feelings are kept inside him and they build stronger and stronger as it pulls him into insanity.
Macbeth’s insanity surfaces at the banquet that he organized that Banquo was supposed to show up to. The place where Macbeth gets word of Fleance’s escape in act 3 scene 4. After he goes off to the side to hear of Fleance’s escape and Banquo’s murder, upon returning to the table to eat, he finds the ghost of Banquo sitting in his spot. This may be symbolic of the prophecy of Banquo’s sons succeeding Macbeth. Macbeth is the only one who could see this ghost and that made Macbeth appear very insane. Lady Macbeth had to take control of that particular situation and she scorned Macbeth for being so weak, but ironically her guilt was just about to hit her much harder.
She was caught sleepwalking and frantically making motions with her hands that looked like she was washing them even though she wasn’t. She was saying that the “blood” could not be washed off when in fact there was no blood on her hands, the “blood” was symbolic of her guilt. A doctor and a lady saw her doing this and they vowed not to tell anyone for fear of being tried for treason. Then finally Lady Macbeth committed suicide because her guilt was too much to bear.
Ultimately, both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth were led to their deaths by their guilt. Lady Macbeth committed suicide due to it, and although Macbeth died in a battle against Macduff, he was probably handicapped by his guilt and he was held back and was finally killed by Macduff who Macbeth had been warned about by the witches. As this story teaches, guilt is a very strong emotion that ultimately forces a wrongdoer to somehow make his bad deeds right again, however, in many cases, ambition overcomes the thought of guilt and often guilt never enters the mind during the action such as a murder.Ambition and Guilt in Macbeth
Macbeth is a tragedy about a man who, guided by the prophecy of three witches and the ambition of his wife and himself, kills his good friend who is the king of Scotland to become king himself, as said the witches prophecy. Many emotions, ambitions, and his wife affect him throughout the story. Ambition and guilt are the two emotions that affect Macbeth and Lady Macbeth during the story. His wife has an unusually strong ambition; she talks Macbeth into the murder in act 1 scenes 5-7. During and after the murder, Macbeth is very affected by his guilt and so is Lady Macbeth.
In the majority of the play, Macbeth’s guilt is very strong and important to many parts. The first major sign of it is just before the murder. His guilt materializes in a hallucination of a bloody dagger that leads him to the chambers of Duncan, the king who he is to murder. Another sign is just after the murder; the blood on their hands shocks Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. This is the first time they truly realize what they have done in a clear point of view. They get away with the murder for a while and Macbeth becomes king, but he is worried about another part of the witches’ prophecy that said his friend and partner, Banquo, would be the father of a whole line of kings. Macbeth wants his children to succeed him to the throne. In order to stop this, Macbeth hires two murderers to kill Banquo in act 3 scene 1. This is just another sign of Macbeth’s ambition. So far, Macbeth has killed or ordered the murder of two of his good friends to become king and keep his plan secure.
However, in act 3 scene 2, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth both talk about how unhappy and afraid they are. They both fear that they will get caught and Macbeth is especially unhappy about having to kill his friends. This shows how bad an influence ambition can be sometimes. In many cases, ambition can be a very useful emotion used to push someone into achieving their goals. It can be the deciding element in a horrible predicament, but it can get too strong and push someone like Macbeth into doing anything and killing anyone in order to become king. Macbeth would probably never have even thought twice about killing anyone in order to become king had he not heard the prophecy of the three witches. This makes one think about the intentions or purpose of the witches, not in relation to the story line, but what they wished to accomplish and why. Perhaps they were symbolic of pure evil and they simply brought fourth the darkness of Macbeth and pushed him into killing and destroying the natural balance of humanity as he knew it. Maybe they are just distraught beings who seek out things to destroy for their own personal amusement. Then maybe they are just hollow characters that Shakespear wrote into the story to start the plot.
In any case, Macbeth was informed by the two murderers that he hired and one other one that joined them that the murder of Banquo had gone as planned but Fleance was with Banquo and escaped. This got Macbeth very nervous but he is reassured that his own sons will succeed him as king. Although he was put to ease and he knew that his sons were to succeed him, he developed more guilt for the murder of his friend Banquo. He was also feeling uneasy about the witches’ prophecy that said Banquo’s sons would be kings, because if the prophecy was true, then Macbeth had cheated fate by killing Banquo. So now the guilt of his friends murder is upon him and, like a depressed teenager, his feelings are kept inside him and they build stronger and stronger as it pulls him into insanity.
Macbeth’s insanity surfaces at the banquet that he organized that Banquo was supposed to show up to. The place where Macbeth gets word of Fleance’s escape in act 3 scene 4. After he goes off to the side to hear of Fleance’s escape and Banquo’s murder, upon returning to the table to eat, he finds the ghost of Banquo sitting in his spot. This may be symbolic of the prophecy of Banquo’s sons succeeding Macbeth. Macbeth is the only one who could see this ghost and that made Macbeth appear very insane. Lady Macbeth had to take control of that particular situation and she scorned Macbeth for being so weak, but ironically her guilt was just about to hit her much harder.
She was caught sleepwalking and frantically making motions with her hands that looked like she was washing them even though she wasn’t. She was saying that the “blood” could not be washed off when in fact there was no blood on her hands, the “blood” was symbolic of her guilt. A doctor and a lady saw her doing this and they vowed not to tell anyone for fear of being tried for treason. Then finally Lady Macbeth committed suicide because her guilt was too much to bear.
Ultimately, both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth were led to their deaths by their guilt. Lady Macbeth committed suicide due to it, and although Macbeth died in a battle against Macduff, he was probably handicapped by his guilt and he was held back and was finally killed by Macduff who Macbeth had been warned about by the witches. As this story teaches, guilt is a very strong emotion that ultimately forces a wrongdoer to somehow make his bad deeds right again, however, in many cases, ambition overcomes the thought of guilt and often guilt never enters the mind during the action such as a murder.


Macbeth is a tragedy about a man who, guided by the prophecy of three witches and the ambition of his wife and himself, kills his good friend who is the king of Scotland to become king himself, as said the witches prophecy. Many emotions, ambitions, and his wife affect him throughout the story. Ambition and guilt are the two emotions that affect Macbeth and Lady Macbeth during the story. His wife has an unusually strong ambition; she talks Macbeth into the murder in act 1 scenes 5-7. During and after the murder, Macbeth is very affected by his guilt and so is Lady Macbeth.
In the majority of the play, Macbeth’s guilt is very strong and important to many parts. The first major sign of it is just before the murder. His guilt materializes in a hallucination of a bloody dagger that leads him to the chambers of Duncan, the king who he is to murder. Another sign is just after the murder; the blood on their hands shocks Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. This is the first time they truly realize what they have done in a clear point of view. They get away with the murder for a while and Macbeth becomes king, but he is worried about another part of the witches’ prophecy that said his friend and partner, Banquo, would be the father of a whole line of kings. Macbeth wants his children to succeed him to the throne. In order to stop this, Macbeth hires two murderers to kill Banquo in act 3 scene 1. This is just another sign of Macbeth’s ambition. So far, Macbeth has killed or ordered the murder of two of his good friends to become king and keep his plan secure.
However, in act 3 scene 2, Lady Macbeth and Macbeth both talk about how unhappy and afraid they are. They both fear that they will get caught and Macbeth is especially unhappy about having to kill his friends. This shows how bad an influence ambition can be sometimes. In many cases, ambition can be a very useful emotion used to push someone into achieving their goals. It can be the deciding element in a horrible predicament, but it can get too strong and push someone like Macbeth into doing anything and killing anyone in order to become king. Macbeth would probably never have even thought twice about killing anyone in order to become king had he not heard the prophecy of the three witches. This makes one think about the intentions or purpose of the witches, not in relation to the story line, but what they wished to accomplish and why. Perhaps they were symbolic of pure evil and they simply brought fourth the darkness of Macbeth and pushed him into killing and destroying the natural balance of humanity as he knew it. Maybe they are just distraught beings who seek out things to destroy for their own personal amusement. Then maybe they are just hollow characters that Shakespear wrote into the story to start the plot.
In any case, Macbeth was informed by the two murderers that he hired and one other one that joined them that the murder of Banquo had gone as planned but Fleance was with Banquo and escaped. This got Macbeth very nervous but he is reassured that his own sons will succeed him as king. Although he was put to ease and he knew that his sons were to succeed him, he developed more guilt for the murder of his friend Banquo. He was also feeling uneasy about the witches’ prophecy that said Banquo’s sons would be kings, because if the prophecy was true, then Macbeth had cheated fate by killing Banquo. So now the guilt of his friends murder is upon him and, like a depressed teenager, his feelings are kept inside him and they build stronger and stronger as it pulls him into insanity.
Macbeth’s insanity surfaces at the banquet that he organized that Banquo was supposed to show up to. The place where Macbeth gets word of Fleance’s escape in act 3 scene 4. After he goes off to the side to hear of Fleance’s escape and Banquo’s murder, upon returning to the table to eat, he finds the ghost of Banquo sitting in his spot. This may be symbolic of the prophecy of Banquo’s sons succeeding Macbeth. Macbeth is the only one who could see this ghost and that made Macbeth appear very insane. Lady Macbeth had to take control of that particular situation and she scorned Macbeth for being so weak, but ironically her guilt was just about to hit her much harder.
She was caught sleepwalking and frantically making motions with her hands that looked like she was washing them even though she wasn’t. She was saying that the “blood” could not be washed off when in fact there was no blood on her hands, the “blood” was symbolic of her guilt. A doctor and a lady saw her doing this and they vowed not to tell anyone for fear of being tried for treason. Then finally Lady Macbeth committed suicide because her guilt was too much to bear.
Ultimately, both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth were led to their deaths by their guilt. Lady Macbeth committed suicide due to it, and although Macbeth died in a battle against Macduff, he was probably handicapped by his guilt and he was held back and was finally killed by Macduff who Macbeth had been warned about by the witches. As this story teaches, guilt is a very strong emotion that ultimately forces a wrongdoer to somehow make his bad deeds right again, however, in many cases, ambition overcomes the thought of guilt and often guilt never enters the mind during the action such as a murder.

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