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Macbeth realizes the crime he is about to enter and is fully aware of his punishments in the future.
Before Duncan's murder, Macbeth questions and second-guesses his ambitious tendencies and actions.
"We will proceed no further in this business/He hath honoured me of late, and I have brought/golden opinions from all sorts of people" (Act 1, Scene 7, 31 - 33). After performing the evil deeds Macbeth was responsible for, Macbeth was not happy with what he has accomplished, "I am afraid to think what I have done/look on 't again I dare not" (Act 2, Scene 2, 55 - 56).
Throughout the centuries, human beings have always had the need to achieve some things in life such as love, wealth, power, or authority. In The Tragedy of Macbeth, Macbeth was a brave soldier of Scotland and was very loyal to King Duncan.
As he returned from a battle with his friend Banquo, three witches hailed him as Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor and in the end, King of Scotland.
It is apparent to all, even to himself, that Macbeth is ambitious, as most people who succeed are.
In fact, ambition is often an important quality in a good leader.
Many scandals, both historic and current, can be linked to greed, ambition, and abuse of power.
Typically, the key figures are motivated by, and are inevitably destroyed by, ambition.
King Duncan acknowledged Macbeth's bravery by naming him the new Thane of Cawdor, "What he hath lost, noble Macbeth hath won," (Act 1, Scene 2, 67).
One would think that such an accomplishment as Thane of Cawdor would satisfy Macbeth's ambition. He kills Duncan in his ambitious quest to gain even more power and later is consumed by paranoia and guilt.