Macbeth Themes - Ambition
Ambition is not quite the same as any of the seven deadly sins. Unlike greed, for example, it can be put to good use, but as we see in Macbeth it can corrupt also, if it's not controlled by a sound sense of morality. In some respects Macbeth is blind - for example he can't see what the witches are up to in leading him on. But here at least he shows some insight into what motivates him, namely driving ambition: "vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself". This ambition is a form of coveting, a concept we rarely hear about except in relation to the ninth and tenth comandments. Macbeth covets the crown of Scotland - doesn't just want it in a general sort of way that might be morally neutral, but toys with the idea of achieving it by murder, and is finally prepared to break the bonds of friendship and kinship to reach his goal.

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