Ambition can Kill

by: Calvin Harris

Ambition can Kill

In the famous play, Macbeth written by William Shakespeare, the main character, a man named Macbeth, begins his journey as the Thane of Cawdor. After fighting a battle for King Duncan of Scotland, Macbeth and his companion, Banquo, stumble upon three witches who tell Macbeth a prophecy saying that he will be the Thane of Cawdor, the Thane of Glamis, and then the King of Scotland. Soon after the Thane of Glamis turns his back on King Duncan of Scotland, he is killed and his title as Thane of Glamis is given to the honorable Macbeth. Macbeth can't believe that what the three strange witches prophesied had came true. Macbeth, in his excitement and confusion, told his wife of this prophecy. His wife, Lady Macbeth, told him he had to kill King Duncan to fulfill his prophecy. Soon after, King Duncan was dead, at the hands of Macbeth. Ambition is defined as a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work. This definition seems to give the word, ambition, a positive and good aspect to the word; however, that is not always the case as exampled in the famous play Macbeth. After killing King Duncan, the king's sons are blamed and flee the country while Macbeth, the true murderer, is crowned new king. To keep what really happened to King Duncan quiet and unknown Macbeth then kills everyone who begins to solve the puzzle of King Duncan's death. Many are blamed for what Macbeth did; however, they only put thoughts in his head. Macbeth's ambition is what did the rest. One can come to the conclusion that Macbeth's ambition is to blame for, not only killed King Duncan, but everyone who else tried to find the truth.
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Three Literary Devices

Alliteration is defined as the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words. This literary device was used in the play Macbeth when the witches were talking among them selves stating that, "Fair is foul, and foul is fair."


Another popularly used literary device is personification. Personification is defined as a figure of speech where human qualities are given to animals, objects, or ideas. This was demonstrated in the play Macbeth when Macbeth said to himself, "If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me."


A third literary device used quite often in Macbeth is foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is defined as a warning or indication of a future event.This literary device was used in the play Macbeth when the witches spoke among them selves saying, "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes."