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Ambition and Betrayal Thematically Macbeth is seen as warning of the dangers of ambition showing that ambition can be a morally corrupting agent Ambition can be seen as Macbeths tragic flaw it consumes him - ironically by the end of the play it consumes him in the other sense of the word Betrayal goes hand-in-hand with ambition and it is another theme Macbeth betrays both his own king and his friend by killing Duncan and then Banquo respectively Interestingly Macbeths murder of Duncan early in the play an act of treason Act II Scene 2 Then later in the middle of the play Act 3 the murder of Banquo emphasizes the thematic importance of the murder of Duncan Betrayal is also shown when after the prophecy Macbeth becomes Thane of Cawdor after the previous Thane is executed for betrayal against the king and as Thane of Cawdor Macbeth betrays the King by murdering him Visions Macbeth hallucinates a bloody knife in the air pointing to King Duncans resting chamber Is this a dagger which I see before me the handle toward my hand Act II Scene I Macbeth knows what he is doing will change his life Committing regicide is a sin that cant be forgiven Macbeth may see this through the supernatural powers of the three witches or it may be another hallucination Lady Macbeth believes there is blood on her hands that wont come off Out damned spot Out I say Act 5 Scene 1 Lady Macbeth here is sleepwalking and spot is being referred to as blood stained hands Lady Macbeth cant cleanse herself of the guilt of plotting King Duncans murder Though it is not clear whether it is a mere vision or not some believe that the ghost of Banquo which Macbeth sees at the Royal Banquet is a figment of his guilty conscience Of course one could also argue that a real ghost would not be
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