The Cause of Macbeth\'s Ruin

The specific root of Macbeth\'s ruin is his uncontrollable ambition. His desires
take control of his actions and this becomes his tragic flaw. It prevents him
from becoming aware of when to stop; he is never fully satisfied as his desire
for power grows. Macbeth\'s judgment is impaired since he only accepts ideas
that will benefit him in obtaining his wants. He also becomes self centered and
loses his feeling towards others as a result of his need for fulfillment. All
these points in Macbeth\'s character are caused by his ambition which seems to
have no boundaries. It grows more abundant as his role in William
Shakespeare\'s play, Macbeth , progresses.

Macbeth\'s desire for power becomes an obsessive trait for him. It prevents him
from realizing when to stop; he is never fully satisfied and always demands more.
In Macbeth\'s first meeting with the witches he is told that he is to be the
Thane of Cawdor and king. Soon after he was told these prophesies he already
becomes eager to learn more; his eagerness is shown when he tells the witches,
"Stay you imperfect speakers, tell me more" (Act.1,Sc.3,Ln.70). Later in the
same scene Ross, a Scottish noble, presents Macbeth with the title Thane of
Cawdor and here he realized that the prophesies are true. The veracity of these
prophesies disturb Macbeth because at this point he is already filled with the
notion of being king and murder as the way of attaining that title. Macbeth
even asks himself; "why do I yield to that suggestion, whose horrid image doth
unfix my hair and make my seated heart knock at my ribs" (Act.1, Sc.3,Ln.134-
136). This quotation shows that the thought of murder is not intentional
because he questions his own imagination, but caused by Macbeth\'s natural
desires and ambition which he cannot control. Already he dismisses the fact
that he has become Thane and his hopes and desires are on becoming king.
Macbeth knows that these desires are evil, "Let not light see my black and deep
desires"(Act.1,Sc.4,Ln.51), nevertheless they continue due to his vaulty
ambition that he has no control over. Eventually with the help of Lady
Macbeth\'s influence - whose character in the beginning of the play is dominant
and overbearing - murders Duncan and becomes king. As king Macbeth does not
feel satisfied with his thrown because along side of the witches predictions of
Macbeth\'s titles, Banquo was said to be the father of many kings. Macbeth feels
that "To be thus is nothing, But to be safely thus"(Act.3,Sc.1,Ln.48-49). This
means that to be king as he is now means nothing to him because he is not secure
on his throne. Macbeth feels insecure because he has a "fruitless crown, and …
a barren sceptre in [his] gripe,"(Act.3,Sc.1,Ln.61-62). He does not have any
son to succeed him and feels that every king should or else their reign is
deemed as insignificant. In order to solve this problem Macbeth has Banquo and
his son Fleance murdered, so that Banquo\'s line will never become kings. His
death is an example of Macbeth\'s uncontrollable ambitions because Banquo went
from being one of Macbeth\'s close companions to an enemy all in the name of
power. The death of Macduff\'s family is another prime example of Macbeth\'s
uncontrollable desires. In Macbeth\'s second meeting with the witches he is told
to beware of Macduff by the apparition. Up to this point Macbeth is suspicious
of Macduff. He feels that he is plotting against him and has a "servant
fee\'d"(Act.3,Sc.4,Ln.132) in the home of Macduff as a spy. After finding out
from the apparitions that Macduff will be indeed a real threat, Macbeth has his
whole family brutally slaughtered. The aimless death of Macduff\'s family proves
that Macbeth fears Macduff and thinks that the death of his loved ones will show
his powers and thus deter Macduff\'s intentions towards Macbeth. Their deaths
gave him an extra sense of security. Macbeth\'s constant dissatisfaction is
caused by his hungry ambition that grows throughout the play. This contributes
to his ruin because in order to obtain all that he wants - power and security -
he sends a wave terror through Scotland which upsets it\'s people. In the end he
is defeated by those that he did wrong. Macduff gets his revenge for Macbeth\'s
actions and Malcolm claims his rightful place as king.

Macbeth\'s ambition has blinded him of the reality around him. His ambition made
him see and think in a way that would have him achieve it, without taking into
consideration other possibilities and apparent dangers.