What are some ideas for creating an ambiguous character personality who is in conflict with his environment as he exemplifies the theme of ambition.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The description of this character matches that of Shakespeare's Macbeth, who is in conflict with the natural world and the preternatural, his ambitions and his loyalties.

One man, although of much less character than the formerly noble Macbeth, who was ambiguous and in conflict with his environment is Bernie Madoff, the ambitious and greedy man who ran a huge Ponzi scheme. He was ambiguous in his feelings towards his own family as he was father to a son that he caused to commit suicide because of shame (not dissimilar to Lady Macbeth).

At any rate, Madoff is a person upon whom one can model a character. Perhaps, the character wishes to become rich, but must compromise his ethics to do so, thereby bringing shame to his family. There can, then, be an internal conflict in this character much like the one that Macbeth expresses in these passages:

....Present fears
Are less than horrible imaginings. 

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

Ambition causes this character to forsake other values, as well, and thus become alienated from friends and family.


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