How do ambition and power motivate Macbeth from the start of Macbeth up to the end to become a bad guy? Explain in which power and ambition used to Malcolm, Macduff, and Macbeth to...

How do ambition and power motivate Macbeth from the start of Macbeth up to the end to become a bad guy? 

Explain in which power and ambition used to Malcolm, Macduff, and Macbeth to fight with each other. Support your answer with events and quotes from the text.

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Macbeth, ambition and power motivate Macbeth to commit terrible crimes, and by the end of the play, he is a baseless character.  When Macbeth and Banquo meet the witches and hear their prophecy, Macbeth is overwhelmed by the news of his future good fortune.  However, he cannot let these events play out naturally for fear that they may not in fact come true.  So Macbeth decides to help destiny by taking an active role in securing his fate.  When Macbeth and his wife plot to murder King Duncan, however, Macbeth has a turn of conscience and feels guilty about commiting murder.  He wavers until he is convinced by Lady Macbeth that this is the right step to take. 

After murdering King Duncan, Macbeth, now with a bloody conscience, continues on his ambitious quest for power.  Although he is now King, he wants nothing to get in his way and plots against Banquo whom Macbeth fears because the witches' prophecy guaranteed the throne to Banquo's sons.  The murder of Banquo and the attempt on Fleance cause no feelings of guilt in Macbeth this time, so driven is he by ambition, power, and greed.  Similarly, he sheds no tears for the murder of Macduff's court. 

By the end of the play, ambition and power have taken over Macbeth and he is no longer one with concerns for others.  He fights until the end for only himself.