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Module 1: Macbeth Themes

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XSIQ
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English - Ambition

Ambition

As has been mentioned earlier, Macbeth, although a loyal man, was
ambitious even before his encounter with the witches. He had been loyal to
his King, to his wife and his friends.

The prophecies of the witches and his wife's taunts served to spur his
ambition. For had Macbeth had not secretly wanted to be King, the witches
prediction would not have had an effect on him. The witches' prophecies can
be seen to influence Macbeth by turning his secret regal ambition into a
reality, however, they are not responsible for his actions throughout the
play.

Lady Macbeth is also ambitious. She is portrayed early in the play as an
ambitious woman who can manipulate Macbeth with little effort. Some critics
suggest she is more ambitious than her husband whereas others suggest she
was ambitious for her husband.

You will need to come to your own conclusions based on your interpretation
of the play. It is the mutual ambition between these two that destroys
them.

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