The Price of Ambition “Big results require big ambitions” (Brainy Quotes). This quote by Heraclitus closely reflects the main theme of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, and the main trait of the characters Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Ambition is having the will to do anything, and not caring about the consequences. Throughout the story, both Lady Macbeth and Macbeth have to take big actions to achieve their ambitious goals of becoming regents and safely keep the throne of Scotland to themselves. They realize their ambitious goal when three witches tell Macbeth that he would become king. The amount of murder and backstabbing in the play showcases how drastic the actions the two took to achieve this goal of theirs. These actions end up costing them much in the long run, ultimately their own lives. The two even have to kill their friends and commit regicide in order to attain their own ambition, and they do not look back. Macbeth definitively proves himself as more ambitious than Lady Macbeth. One example that stands out in the play is that Macbeth is more ambitious than Lady Macbeth due to the fact that he is the one who is directly responsible for the death of his political enemies. This is highlighted with the following quote, said by Macbeth after the murder of King Duncan. ” I have done the deed”(II, ii, 19).This quote, while simple, means a lot to the story and Macbeth as a character. Macbeth is willing to do the dirty work himself, not hiding behind someone, and that was not their original plan. Originally, Lady Macbeth was the one who was to do the deed, but she reneged and Macbeth had to do the deed. He had to go off the books, a complete change in plan, one that was already dangerous enough, was made even more dangerous with this change in plan. But he went through with it none the less, regardless of the increased risk. Further supporting this, once Macbeth becomes king, he starts to worry about what the three witches said to Banquo back in Act I. They said that he will father kings, but not be one. As a result, he needs to have Banquo and Fleance, his son, murdered. So when talking with the murderers, he says the following. So is he Banquo mine, and in such bloody distance that every minute of his being thrusts against my near’st of life … that I to your assistance do make love, masking the business from the common eye for sundry weighty reasons (III, i, 128-138).” Macbeth needs Banquo and his son dead, and he needs it done in way that is safe for Macbeth. While hiring murderers may seem cowardly, he uses this to stay in power. Even if the murderers get caught, odds are, they would try to blame Macbeth, Macbeth would deny, using him being at the banquet as an alibi, and Macbeth would get off scot-free. Sometimes ambition is not met by doing the dirty work itself. Sometimes it is necessary to take a back seat and just organize the plan to get the work done safely. In addition, Macbeth proves to be more ambitious than Lady Macbeth because he is willing to sacrifice his friends in order to attain his ambition. This is supported by a quote found in the conversation in which Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are debating on whether or not to commit regicide the ensuing night. In this conversation, Macbeth says the following, “He Duncan is my kinsman”(I, vii, 14). While this line, at the time, is used to try to dissuade Lady Macbeth from killing the king it ends up supporting that he is willing to kill his friends. He ends up being the one to kill the king, one of his dearest friends, and he does not waver on it past this conversation. He lets his ambition drive him to his goal, and does not think about the possible consequences of his actions. On top of this, Macbeth while not directly responsible for Lady Macbeth’s death, still made a comment on her death that shows how unfazed it makes him. After a messenger comes to deliver the news to Macbeth that his wife is dead, he has the following soliloquy, “She should have died hereafter; there would have been a time for such a word. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow”(V,v, 19-22). While Macbeth sounds sad at his wife’s death, he is not broken by the death. He marches on and continues to plan for battle, as if nothing happened, instead of dropping everything to mourn for her. Macbeth knew that Lady Macbeth might die and he was willing to accept that outcome, as it was a direct result of the ambition the two shared. He knew this, and he was not dissuaded by the possible death of his dear wife. A finally topic to note is that Macbeth is ambitious to the point where he lets his ambition make decisions for him, not common sense. It can be found in the apparitions scene, where Macbeth receives three warnings. After the first apparition tells Macbeth that he needs to fear Macduff, the second apparition seemingly contradicts the first apparition with the following statement. “The pow’r of man, for none of woman born shall harm Macbeth (IV, i, 91-92). Macbeth reacts to this by disregarding the previous warning. A logical conclusion from these two warnings would indicate that Macduff is still a possible a problem. But due to Macbeth’s ambition, he is blinded and is only thinking about the present and how to achieve what he wants, not what might get in his path and how that might affect his plan. While he does realize that Mcduff will stand in his way, he throws away that suspicion after this warning, as he just sends murderers to kill him, which is not the smartest, as he is not sure of where Macduff might be. Instead of gathering information before sending killers, he bypasses common sense and just jumps to the killing. Another way Macbeth’s ambition blinds him is when he is debating with himself about whether or not to kill the king. He thinks it would not be the right thing to do, citing that he should not as he is his kinsman, subject, and host. The only reason he has to kill Duncan is as follows. ” I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on the other (I, vii, 27-30). Macbeth clearly allows his ambition to take over his common sense. He cites three reasons, all legitimate, to not kill the king, and only one reason to kill the king. Usually, just the comparison of the number of pros and cons would decide the action a person takes and maybe a little moral analysis. But even with all of that, the reasons to not kill the king clearly outweigh the reason to kill the king. But Macbeth lets his ambition supercede his common sense and goes onto kill the king. To sum it all up, Macbeth proves countless times to be more ambitious than Lady Macbeth throughout the play. He is more ambitious as he is the one who takes the reigns of Lady Macbeth and his plan to become king. While Macbeth takes a lot of actions that were uncalled for, he did them all in the name of his own ambition. While this does not validate Macbeth’s actions, it does put them into perspective. Going back to the opening quote, Macbeth has to make a lot of big decisions to meet his ambitious goal of becoming king. Throughout the play, he is relentless in his actions to secure the throne. Even in today’s world, people have to make a lot of decisions that they would rather not, but decisions must be made regardless, to meet their own goals. To them and as it is with Macbeth, it does not matter whether or not their intention is good to themselves, but that it meets their own goal.