What is the main idea of the play Macbeth?

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This question is essentially a theme question. So, what are the major themes of Macbeth?


Ambition is the most prominent theme of the play with several characters working to express this theme, including Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

In Macbeth, ambition conspires with unholy forces to commit evil deeds which, in their turn, generate fear, guilt and still more horrible crimes. 

The first act has many moments where ambition and the lust for power are directly discussed.


Guilt and paranoia both become themes (mutual themes) afterDuncan is killed. Macbeth’s encounters with the supernatural figures of the second act reinforce these themes along with Lady Macbeth’s suicide.


Another theme of the play is responsibility, though more interpretation is required to argue for this theme than the others mentioned. The relationship of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and their roles in the murder create a complex situation of responsibility regardingDuncan’s murder. 

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