Macbeth is a tragedy by William Shakespeare set in Scotland in the 11th century. It deals with  a series of murders and deaths, mostly caused by Macbeth and his wife, who are then seen to face the consequences of their ambition, leading them both to death.  

Macbeth is a courageous soldier who receives the prophecy that he will become King of Scotland: from this moment on, ambition works on him and his wife who are ready to do everything in order to make the prophecy come true. 

Ambition is, along with regicide, the main theme of the play. This feeling is seen as corrupting, it makes Macbeth lose his nobility and sanity and leads him to violence. Ambition also leads him to blindness, as he begins to damage other people -whom he loves and actually cares about- and, ultimately, himself. Even though this play  was written centuries ago, we still can find the meanings behind it to be very modern. But how is that possible?   

Throughout history and in our modern world, people have used violence and deception to gain power for themselves, and often, once this power is gained, they are paranoid about losing it. History books are filled with self-claimed or titled authorities longing to fulfill their desires, as if  their fate was already written in the stars. They have neither empathy, nor respect for others, and they just go straightforward to their goal, and all they do causes harm and sometimes even world-wide conflicts. After all, doesn’t all this arise from the madness of people whose intellect and reason are clouded by their ambitions for power,  in the desire to dominate others?     

This concept is very well described through the famous quotation “foul is fair and fair is foul. Foul means bad or evil, and fair means good, so a literal translation of this statement could be “evil is good and good is evil”. People who are seen as good will be turned to evil and situations that are seen as good will turn out badly. Of course, Macbeth wasn’t a bad person before he started his reign of terror and began to slaughter the ones who could prevent him from becoming the king; but at the same time we see him repenting only at the end, when he realizes that the only things he gained from his tremendous power were just violence and bloodshed. Just because unlimited ambition was the driving force of his life.   

Linda Pasquali , Roberta Barbagallo, Gioia Adamoli