In the drama of Shakespeare, there are three main events that show how ambition can lead to treachery and guilt. Through the incorporation of some key events, The Tragedy of Macbeth written by Shakespeare is a tragic drama script that has numerous provoking ideas that are relevant to today. The Key event showed how ambition can lead to treachery and guilt.
Macbeth’s excessive ambition led him to have the audacity to even be treacherous to the king, Duncan. Shakespeare illustrates Macbeth as an example of Deception and façade. This was seen at the beginning of the drama during the first meeting with King Duncan. Macbeth is welcomed by the king when he says, “O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman”. This quote shows that at the start of the play Macbeth was seen as a Kingsman and a noble person who can be trusted. Therefore, was declared as the Thane of Glamis and Thane of Cawdor. However, hereafter ambition was turned into greed making him to be disloyal. The so-called ‘valiant’ and ‘worthy gentleman’ was seen killing the king who trusted him so deeply. The loyalty was seen to be destroyed. This is clearly shown when the witch says at the start of the play “Foul is fair, and fair is foul.” Thus, shows that Macbeth is seen as someone who is fair ‘but is foul’. Thus, Shakespeare shows the audience using Macbeth as an example of a person who can’t be trusted. He is shown as a person in the world who is extremely greedy and destroys the trust of the people who love him. This controversy of loyalty is seen when he says, “Make the face vizards to our heats/ disguising our hearts” and … “hide the false heart doth know”. The quote shows that he is afraid to show his true self that he is now turned into. Thus, demonstrating that he is afraid of losing his reputation that he stole through wicked and sinful ways. Thus, the fear makes him do more evil atrocities to remain in power. However, later in the text, he says “I am stepped in blood/ so far that should I wade no more.” This quote shows that he is guilty about his actions, and he can’t go back due to the sinful actions he has done. Shakespeare shows that he is afraid that he will be judged by others and is stuck deep down with his huge guilt. Shakespeare shows that excessive ambition leads to no good other than betrayal and guilt. As shown in the play Macbeth lost many things other than losing the throne. He lost his wife; he lost his best friend, and he killed the king who trusted him so much. he also broke the trust of the people as an army of citizens waited outside the castle to kill him. The difference between imagination and reality was destroyed. Macbeth shows the audience to not trust everyone and moreover that the person who can’t be trusted also faces consequences deep down inside with guilt that conflicts within themselves.
Another example of excessive ambition leading to treachery and guilt is seen between Macbeth and Banquo. At the beginning of the play, the witches mention that Banquo’s future generation might have an opportunity to become a king. “With a prophecy that he shall generate a line of kings ”. Macbeth’s excessive ambition takes a lead over his moral values of loyalty as he later decides to send murderers to kill Banquo. However, excessive ambition and treachery lead to Macbeth’s fatal flaw. This is seen when Banquo appears as a ghost in front of only Macbeth, showing guilt and fear."Avaunt! and quit my sight! Let the earth hide thee!” this quote represents Macbeth’s guilt. This also shows that even his imagination taunts him. He gets petrified because he is taunted by the sinful self-deed of killing his best friend. Banquo is shown as an innocent friend who was betrayed and killed by his friend. Macbeth suddenly realizes that feeling and feels a sense of guilt builds up for all the actions he did. He is terrified that his actions might cause a downfall in his power. The sense of guilt becomes so powerful that he starts to lose his sense of the reality of the world.
Later on in the play, his deeds were more than sins could be forgiven. He is unable to wash away his sin when he says “Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood / Clean from my hand?” He is guilty that he can’t wash away his dreadful actions. He cannot expunge it from his soul. The magnitude of his guilt is represented by the magnitude of the blood. It is like a metaphor saying that not even an ocean of water can wash away his sin.
Shakespeare shows that their world isn’t any different from our world. Everyone is able to wear a mask and act innocent. However, deep down inside them they will be mocking or planning evil atrocities against others. Although their actions impact others moreover it impacts themselves as they are conquered by the fear and guilt of showing the world judging their face under the mask. Thus, making them suffer by not being able to identify their true self. Shakespeare warns the audience that no one is able to be trusted in this world. Thus, showing the impact of excessive ambition and how it can be seen in today’s society. For example, the Russian president, Putin. He is an example of someone who can’t be trusted. Many people voted for him hoping that he would treat the world better. However, his extreme ambition to conquer more land led to his evil atrocities. He is selfish and unconcerned about the many people whose lives were lost during the war. However, the world seems to take a different turn on his extreme greed. This will therefore impact his whole career and will be treated with less respect by the community. Thus, showing the three main events that show how ambition can lead to treachery and guilt.