How can a literary research paper be shaped around "The Political Ambition" involved in "The Tragedy of Macbeth"?

Expert Answers
dule05 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The title of your paper is convenient because Macbeth's tragedy arises from his perilously surreptitious and unrestrained political ambition. Although Macbeth is motivated by the witches' prophecy and his wife's persuasion to kill Duncan, Macbeth's chief reason for taking the throne is because of his "black and deep desires," that is, his dark and dangerous ambition:

  I have no spur
  To prick the sides of my intent, but only
  Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself
  And falls on the other.

In a literary research paper, you could point out how Macbeth acts as soon as he hears the witches' prophecy. He does not wait for the prophecy to come true on its own. Instead, he takes matters into his own hands and, encouraged by Lady Macbeth, decides to kill Duncan. Once he commits murder, he is constantly plagued by his never-ending fear of losing his position as the king of the country. This causes him to commit many other acts of atrocity such as killing innocent people like Banquo and Lady Macduff for the sake of ensuring that no one can jeopardize his political ambitions.

Finally, you can focus on the effects of ambition on Macbeth himself. We can see that it transforms him from a valiant and loyal warrior to a ruthless murderer, who is devoid of scruples. Therefore, his demise is inevitable.