Macbeth Guilt

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The old, theatrical Macbeth is seen to be just an over the top fantastical story, but in reality, it is more similar to everyday life than you think. Macbeth begins with him receiving a prophecy from three witches that terrible things would happen leading up to his death. Rather than wait for these events to occur, he took the matter into his own hands, and he and Lady Macbeth end up killing the king, which leads to both of them being filling with guilt. Overcome with guilt, Macbeth became a cruel leader. The guilt changed him as a person negatively, driving him to murder anyone who might get in his way. All the events in between eventually lead up to Macbeth and Lady Macbeth both dead. Macbeth does relate to our society, as demonstrated by the theme of ambition.

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“Macbeth Guilt”

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The theme of Macbeth all revolves around ambition and how your ambition can get the best of you and potentially lead to a downward spiral. In Act 1 scene 7 Macbeth states “That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on th’ other.” Macbeth confesses that the only thing that drives him is indeed his own ambition. Having your main source of motivation come from ambition usually results in some disaster. In Macbeth’s case, everything coming for him ends up disastrous. Ambition plays a major role in our society today. For one, everyone has ambition, it’s just a natural human-like thing to have. Ambition is what makes someone desired to accomplish a task or whatever it is they’re seeking to complete. In some cases, ambition can be assistive perhaps to complete work. However, if it’s used as a way of revenge or out of hatred it can end badly. Without ambition, it would be hard to stay determined to get work done but in Macbeth’s case, his ambition didn’t aid with his decisions.

The theme of Macbeth relates to our society today because everyone possesses ambition. Having ambition permits a valuable meaning to everyone. For instance, women trying to achieve equality amongst others in the workplace. Women who are searching for equal rights, pay and opportunities are extremely determined, which is what makes them so ambitious in the first place. This links to the quote in the previous paragraph, “That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on th’ other.” because a woman’s ambition is what’s motivating them to fight for equality.

When women are fighting for equality the reactions and results don’t always go well with other peoples opinions, and it can cause slight chaos just how Macbeth’s ambitious choices end up causing a disaster and don’t always go as planned. Everyone in our society obtains ambition, and in Macbeth ambition plays a massive role. Some aspects of Shakespeare are indeed timeless when it comes to young love, murder, and or revenge. All of these aspects are still very much so involved and occurring in our society today.

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Macbeth Guilt. (2020, May 14). Retrieved January 31, 2023 , from

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