Example Paragraph

TASK: Write a paragraph that explores how an idea from Macbeth is transmitted through the use of dramatic, figurative or linguistic devices.

Example of paragraph: 

  • Shakespeare in his tragedy Macbeth, is preoccupied with the relationship between humanity and the forces of life beyond our control. Macbeth, who is just learned of his wife’s untimely death considers his life to be “like a walking shadow.” It is in his use of metaphor, and the interplay between symbols of light and dark, that Shakespeare communicates his idea of the nature of death. In his metaphor ” a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more”, Shakespeare is comparing our lives to that of an actor on stage, which is characterized as being full of effort and self-obsession, but ultimately transient and unimportant. This serves to underline Macbeth’s own sense of futility as all his plans and machinations have lead him here to the point where he is alone, facing almost certain defeat and losing the only person left alive who he loves.


Idea: Ambition – a strong desire to do or achieve something.

Quote: Act 3, Scene 4.

For mine own good
All causes shall give way. I am in blood
Stepped in so far that, should wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er”

Through the character of Macbeth in the tragedy of Macbeth produced by Shakespeare, ambition is shown. Throughout this, Shakespeare shows that ambition can push people to do inhumane things, in this case the means of Macbeth becoming king. Most of the time ambition is seen as a good thing, something that ensures people do everything to their best ability, but at times it isn’t all good, and can be overwhelming. Most people, after being filled with ambition for so long feel that “for mine (their) own good, All causes shall give way. I (they) am (are) in blood Stepped in so far that, should wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er” – Macbeth ended up like this. In this quote he is letting on that he feels like he is in way over his head. Blood usually signifys death, something bad, the ruins of a person; it is as though Shakespeare is creating the image that Macbeth is in a pool of blood, in so far that it is not worth coming back the way he came but carrying on. This is the illusion that Macbeth, in his actions to become king driven by ambition has gotten to the point that he has done to much bad to go back and be good, so although he doesn’t want to carry on he has to.


Extra: In the play Macbeth written by Shakespeare, the character of Macbeth presents ideas of being pushed by ambition to become someone who he once never would have thought of becoming – the king.This ambition is put on him from his dear wife Lady Macbeth whom after hearing his fortunes told to him by the witches, gains ambition and since she knows him through and through pushing this on to Macbeth to do what he has to do. Lady Macbeth “fear(s) thy nature.”


  1. At risk of making you think I don’t want you to learn any more, I think I’d like to say “good work”. There will be ways to develop this further, but this will happen in the context of a wider essay. You’re ready to go!



    1. Thanks!


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