During this essay I will be discussing an investigation into the nature of ambition and how it is employed and shown across a different text by different authors that lead us deeper into their insight of this very different drive. How they also conveyed different types of ambition (Intrinsic and Extrinsic, intrinsic being a type of ambition to have wealth/success or fame while extrinsic being a type of ambition to gain something close to them as an individual.) And this very natural drive of ambition is unified in some way from the ambition employed in these different texts or plays.
Ambition is described as eager for success, power or fame. Ambition is also presented as a dangerous force in Macbeth and eventually causes the downfall of both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, therefore ambition is one of the major drives of the script. For “Macbeth” written by William Shakespeare, Macbeth’s ambition is what drove him to change his nature to evil because of the ambition to become king of Scotland. Shakespeare throughout the script gave this strong drive a strong ambition to become King through the early scenes of the play. Using the witches prophecies early on telling Macbeth that he is to be the king of Scotland although the witches seemed like they were not to be trusted they had already foretold that Macbeth would be Thane of Cawdor which came true moments after the witches disappeared. Macbeth knowing that he could trust the witches gave him the human drive of ambition to become the King of Scotland. During the script, the witches prophecy wasn’t the only driving force of Macbeth’s ambition Lady Macbeth also forced that drive on Macbeth to take action on the what the witches said to him rather than wait for it to take course itself and puts Macbeth’s ambition in a mad spiral and drives him to kill Duncan. After the encounter with the three witches, Macbeth makes it clear he has the drive of ambition to become king. – “Have no spur
To prick the sides only
Vaulting ambition, which oerleaps itself
And falls on the other” Here a quote from Macbeth describes exactly what he is feeling and clearly tells us that his ambition to become vision is so strong its vaulting indicating the drive from the ambition is there. The type of ambition shown in Macbeth is very similar to the type of ambition shown in Ozymandias and a little in Rollo in Viking’s where the type of ambition got them to their end goals e.g King or power/wealth and fame otherwise know as intrinsic ambition but had negative outcomes for Macbeth he was driven crazy and eventually killed, Ozymandias’s kingdom didn’t last and became a ruin and Rollo betrayed his brother and lost the trust of everyone.
Throughout Gattaca written and directed by Andrew Niccol the main driving force of our main character Vincent is to overcome his poor genetic makeup which is all from the human nature of ambition. Vincent is born as a “faith-born” meaning that his genetic makeup is natural and wasn’t genetically engineered before his birth to create a “perfect specimen” with a perfect genetic makeup (also known in the movie as a valid) although Vincent is known in the movie as an invalid. Therefore because of the invalid status that Vincent has, he is seen as a lower class citizen, valids judging people of their genetic makeup and not on the person themselves using genetic discrimination is shown heavily by getting close-ups of varying different genetic material i.e hair skin cells eyelashes etc. is used to shown the importance of it in this dystopian future, that will not and cannot achieve anything during his life. This is where the main idea of the film comes in the ambition and motivation of Vincent to achieve his goals by borrowing the genes of a perfect valid to pose as a valid himself. Using the ambition as his main drive to beat every obstacle in his way to achieve his end goal of going to space which poses to be many. Ambition is also shown a lot in the natural born or in-valids which have to rely of the motivation and their own drive of ambition while valids rely on their perfect genes and how that will get them through everything, and having little to no ambition which is why Vincent is able to beat Anton in the swimming and how Anton didn’t reach his full potential. ” I was never more certain of how far away I was from my goal than when I was standing right beside it.” This is said by Vincent when he is a janitor watching rockets launching in the distant and this is when he clicks and finds the inner drive of ambition to fly into space and the rest followed and this type of ambition is a good type unlike the bad type of ambition shown in Macbeth and what that ambition drove him to do. In Gattaca the type of ambition shown in the film is the extrinsic type wanting to achieve his goal of going to space which is a personal individual meaning to him rather than wanting fame wealth and glory which is can be a little bit related to Rollo who mostly wanted to get out from underneath his brother Ragnars shadow mostly giving him that individual goal and which his ambition drives him to try and achieve those ambition and eventually does as Vincent in Gattaca joins the Gattaca space program and does get into a rocket to space.
In Ozymandias written by Percy Bysshe Shelley, in Ozymandias King of Kings, the main idea and drive is ambition and its place in this world as a tragedy using this drive of the nature of ambition to create his great kingdom. “Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!” Ambition is strongly showed in Ozymandias by Shelley by tellings us that the ambition to create something powerful and rule it forever was his ambition to be the king of kings. The irony of this ambition is now that the great statue he created through his own ambition is now eroding away as well as the rest of his kingdom is described in the poem now as, “Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare” describing now that even though Ozymandias, which is what the Romans called Egyptian Pharoah Rames II, ambition was to forever rule these lands with his mighty statues that put everyone who looks upon it in a feeling of despair really will never last with the poem describing the eroding face of the Pharoah with a sneer of cold command. Shelley in this poem is really trying to convey the ambition in people and how and what they can achieve with that ambition but eventually anything you do with the time it will be forgotten or in this poem eroded and disappeared with the
“The lone and level sands stretch far away.” Telling us that only the lonely empty sands now stretch as far as one can see now replace the once powerful kingdom and that is how Percy Bysshe Shelley has conveyed to us ambition.
Viking’s is a historical drama television series, written and created by Michael Hirst is mainly revolved around one Viking name Ragnar Lothbrok and his adventures as his transition from a young Viking to becoming the jarl of his village and pillaging England. With other characters following him along the journey, in particular, his brother Rollo and how his wild and powerful ambitions in the tv show are shown heavily throughout the series and what he does to complete his goals through the ambitious character he as Rollo has presented to us and how that drive and how the delves deep into the strong ambition he has and that forwards the plot. Rollo’s main goal and ambitions throughout the entire tv series into come out of his brother Ragnars shadow and make his own man himself, in the series his brother Ragnar gets all the fame and success and by accident shadows his brother Rollo even though he is an incredible warrior and accomplished Viking he still isn’t nearly as powerful or famous as Ragnar making Rollo act heavily on that goal and ambition to make him his own Viking and make his own legacy driving him to betray his brother multiple times during the series leading to him to almost kill his brother and to give him a bad reputation which gives an even more drive of ambition to leave and rule some place of his own eventually becoming the Duke of France and leaving the Vikings completing his ambitions and becoming powerful and moving out from underneath Ragnar’s shadow which some people to believe is a good act of ambition although he is still betraying his brother he completes his ambitious goal and becomes the first Viking to become a Duke in France. Much like the ambition in Gattaca shown by Vincent.”It is because I am useless, feckless, hollowed-out by failed ambitions, by failed loves. Nothing good can ever come of my life now.” Rollo said this to a wise prophesier in the series exclaiming that he is nothing and hollowed out by all his failed ambitions and now he has lost all respect of his fellow Vikings and nothing can come of his life at least in the Viking world because he has betrayed Ragnar to many times and has lost his trust.
In conclusion, I have supplied you with enough evidence to convey the nature of ambition in the four texts Macbeth, Gattaca, Ozymandias and Viking’s and how they are unified by the evidence of the different use of ambition in created by the four different authors and how this very human can be very powerful and how different types of ambition is shown and how they are used by the authors to delve deeper into the text and how it is either used to forward the plot and create a character and what type of character they are being portrayed. This is how the four texts were unified by the nature of ambition.