English Literature Macbeth: Ambition quotes

“For brave Macbeth- well he deserves that name.” (Act 1 Scene 2- Captain) – When we meet Macbeth at the start of the play, he is brave honourable and moral; qualities he soon sheds as the play develops. – We meet him soon after the battle as an ambitious man- willing to win everything (all the obstacles) that comes his way. A man of action on the battlefield and a man of benevolence and passion when away from the battlefield.
“My thought, whose murder yet is but fantastical, Shakes so my single state of man.” (Act 1 Scene 3-Macbeth) – The ladies have not said a word about murder and yet his first thought is about killing Duncan; always had the ambition to murder him.- It is mighty suspicious, almost as if the witches have just aroused a murderous ambition that has been there all along.
“Stars, hide your fires! Let not light see my black and deep desires!” (Act 1 Scene 4- Macbeth) – Macbeth describes his ambition as being “black and deep”, which makes it appear malevolent. – His ambition to have power and rule- deadly desire has been awoken within himself by the stir of the witches and himself.
“If chance will have me king, why, chance will crown me, Without my stir.”(Act 1 Scene 3- Macbeth) – 3 Witches prophesies are what gives Macbeth’s ambition a push and cause him to commit foul deeds. – Figures that becoming king is his destiny; ambitious/enthusiastic about it.
“Yet do I fear thy nature; it is too full o’th’ milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way. Thou wouldst be great, Art not without ambition but without the illness should attend’t.” (Act 1 Scene 5- Lady Macbeth) – After reading the letter from her husband, Lady Macbeth’s intention immediately turns to the idea of murder and becoming powerful and mighty. – Macbeth is too benevolent and soft to commit such a sin which is what Lady Macbeth is concerned about.
“I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition.”(Act 1 Scene 7- Macbeth) – He cannot encourage himself to action; the only thing motivating him is ambition. – There’s no intention to kill Duncan, however, he wants the power for himself.
“Gainst nature still. Thriftless ambition that will ravin up thine own life’s means.”(Act 2 Scene 4- Ross) – Pride and excessive; a tragic flaw that will lead to a downfall.- Ross considers the hollowness of an ambition, which can destroy a person’s life/ ambition is to blame for Duncan’s murder.
Ambition A strong desire to do or achieve something.
Regicide The action of killing a king.
Motif of Light and Darkness Represents innocence and evil.
Motif of Blood Represents evil plans and consequences of overreaching ambition
Motif of Prophecies Initially drives Macbeth’s ambition to become king. The witches use equivocation to word them.