Shakespeare’s Macbeth follows a moral battle of an individual’s ambition and drive for
power, and the ultimate guilt experienced, leading to a descent into madness. Throughout
this tragic play we focus on the core themes of Fate, Ambition, and Guilt and a Demise into
Madness. Using key examples from the play to drive and support our argument.
Let’s start building a paragraph for the themes of Ambition and Fate:
Start off with a topic sentence:
The complicated relationship between fate and ambition, as well as the different ways in
which individuals respond to their destiny is a driving force within Macbeth.
Include context to help frame your argument and provide further insight:
In Shakespeare’s Elizabethan Era, individuals believed the supernatural and superstitious to
be out of the ordinary and evil, therefore exemplifying a paranormal and unnatural element
to the audience.
A first example and analysis:
After both Macbeth and Banquo’s encounter with the witches, Banquo’s concern is
portrayed “The instruments of darkness tell us truths;” The metaphor emphasising his
heavy concern for the dependability of the witches, and his ultimate alignment with
Elizabethan values regarding supernatural activity to be the work of the devil.
A second example and analysis:
Macbeth on the other hand experiences a state of clouded ambition, established through
his discussion with Lady Macbeth where he remarks “We will proceed no further in this
business”, portraying the internal dilemma he faces of whether to abandon his morals to
pursue power and control.
A third example and analysis:
Lady Macbeth is characterised as a masculine figure, demonstrating power and authority in
comparison to her husband, as she utilises an analogy of a cat hungry for fish that did not
want to wet his feet to degrade Macbeths Manhood, “Like the poor cat i’ the adage?”,
elucidating subverted gender roles as Lady Macbeth holds the supremacy and true ambition
within their relationship.
Finally link back to the question:
Ultimately, Shakespeare conveys the powerful links between fate and ambition within
Macbeth, and the subsequent consequences of holding too much ambition.
*Please note that while this information is a great starting point for these texts, relying
solely on the information in this post will not be enough to get a result in the top bands