The events leading up to Macbeth's death. How greed, ambitions and Lady Macbeth's influence turned a seemingly honourable man, Macbeth, into a loathsome traitor.

Essay by Kathl85High School, 10th grade April 2003

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Shakespeare's Macbeth is a splendid tale of tragedy sprung from greed and ambitions. Unlike Shakespeare's other tragedies of Othello and King Lear, where Iago and Edmund were true villains, Macbeth was depicted as a man who possessed goodness; however, misguided by his lust for power and wealth. Macbeth's ambition was his ultimate flaw, compelling him to succumb to the worst of his nature, and eventually led him to his downfall and inevitable death.

In the beginning of Act One, Shakespeare portrayed Macbeth as a brave and honorable general who received high praises and admiration from everyone around him including the king of Scotland, Duncan when he triumphantly defeated the rebel MacDonwald. In scene 3 of Act One the three weird sisters or witches approached Macbeth and prophesied that he was going to become the Thane of Cawdor and in time the king of Scotland. Macbeth did not believe the three bearded women at first until Ross and Angus arrived to tell him that the king had named him Thane of Cawdor. Ambitious thoughts initially arose at this point in the play when Macbeth immediately considered murdering Duncan for the crown.

However, Macbeth showed he still had a conscience and was not purely evil in scene 7 of Act One when he was troubled over his terrible conflict. Macbeth wanted to obtain the crown but he was appalled at the idea of killing his king because kings were thought as chosen by god. "We will proceed no farther in this business: He hath honour'd me of late; and I have bought golden opinion from all sorts of people, which would be worn now in their newest gloss, not cast aside so soon." (Act 1, Sc. 7, L.33-37). This quote reveals Macbeth's feelings of guilt. Later in the scene, however, Lady...