Macbeth
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Macbeth. Planning out an essay using secondary sources. Macbeth Essay. Topic. Working Thesis In Macbeth, ambition incites the latent evil within Macbeth and cultivates this evil into becoming a destructive force.

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Macbeth

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Macbeth

Macbeth

Planning out an essay using secondary sources.


Macbeth essay

Macbeth Essay

  • Topic

  • Working Thesis

    In Macbeth, ambition incites the latent evil within Macbeth and cultivates this evil into becoming a destructive force.

In literature, characters often possess a seemingly dormant evil that is awakened through the circumstances they face. Select ONE character from the play for whom this holds true and assess the mechanisms through which man’s evil emerges.


Macbeth

“AMBITION is like choler... and thereby malign and venomous” (Bacon 1).

This quote, by Francis Bacon, in his essay “Of Ambition” may be used in the Lead of the essay as a way to grab the reader’s attention. One could also use the definition of ambition as a lead.


Macbeth

Subtopic: Macbeth had a dormant evil within him prior to the introduction of ambition-he was not completely innocent.

  • Point: All humans are born with a dormant evil

  • Proof: Adam and Eve and original sin

  • Comment: Macbeth, like all humans possesses this dormant evil.

  • Point: Jane Finch in her essay “On Macbeth’s Evil” argues that Macbeth was not an innocent man at the beginning of the play, but a man with evil tendencies. When this pride was being fed with praise, Macbeth appeared to be a good man, but when threatened his true evil was revealed.

  • Proof: “Macbeth’s pride in himself as a soldier, and as a man, can be seen as a dormant evil which becomes a deadly disease of the mind when threatened by Lady Macbeth and the witches’ prophecies.”(5).

  • Comment: As a result of original sin, Macbeth is naturally born with a dormant. Pride, being a vice, is an outward manifestation of Macbeth’s dormant evil at the beginning of the play. Therefore, Macbeth possesses an innate evil which is ready to be cultivated by the promises of power.


Sub topic 2 the introduction of ambition awakens this evil

Sub-Topic 2The introduction of ambition awakens this evil

  • Point A: The witches first prophesies. First sign of latent evil becoming stirred by ambition.

  • Point B: Lady Macbeth supporting the idea and proposing a plan to obtain the promises of the witches further ignites the evil within Macbeth.


Sub topic 3 the desire ambition to remain in power causes the evil to become a destructive force

Sub-Topic 3: The desire (ambition) to remain in power causes the evil to become a destructive force

  • Point A) Banquo threatens Macbeth’s position and Macbeth’s desire (ambition) to overcome that threat leads to Banquo’s death.

  • Proof: “So ambitious men, if they find the way open for their rising, and still get forward, they are rather busy than dangerous; but if they be checked in their desires, they become secretly discontent, and look upon men and matters with an evil eye…” (Bacon 1).

  • Comment: Francis Bacon, in his essay “On Ambition” supports the idea that Macbeth’s ambition can be a motivation for evil when it is threatened. In the play, if Banquoand his descendents live, Macbeth’s reign remains threatened. This leads to his plan to kill Banquo and Fleance.

  • Point B) Murder of Banquo and Macduff’s family is an attempt of Macbeth to quell the rebellion against his position as king.

  • Proof: quote from the text

  • Comment: Macbeth sees two threats to his new position as king and the ambition to stay in power turns his growing evil into a destructive, murderous force.


Macbeth

“So ambitious men, if they find the way open for their rising, and still get forward, they are rather busy than dangerous; but if they be checked in their desires, they become secretly discontent, and look upon men and matters with an evil eye…” (Bacon 1).

This quote is one that would be best used as an integrated quote. It would work well as a way to prove the point that Macbeth’s concern over Macduff’s rebellion against him and his position of power, and his ambition to overcome this obstacle in order to stay in power helped to foster his evil into a destructive force as seen through the killings of Macduff’


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