Uncontrolled ambition brings about the downfall of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.
The play Macbeth can give many different views of itself. The one that I mainly see is ambition. The ambitions that Macbeth has are not bad but the way that he wants to get them are. Lady Macbeth helps him along the way.
At the start of the play when Macbeth and Banquo meet the 3 witches is when him ambitions are repeated to him:
"All hail Macbeth! Hail to thee thane of Glamis!"
"All hail Macbeth! Hail to thee thane of Cawdor!"
"All hail Macbeth! That shalt be king hereafter!"
Macbeth hears these prophecies and remembers his ambition to become king but he isn't the Thane of Cawdor, so it mustn't be true. Soon after some men ride up to Macbeth and Banquo and give the title of Thane of Cawdor to Macbeth. Macbeth thinks about what the witches said, the second prediction has come true. The third one still remains, their prediction of Macbeth becoming king. This is when Macbeth decides to speed up the prediction by killing Duncan.
Macbeth was a great warrior and served the kink well but always had those ambitions in the back of his mind, taking every chance possible to get there. Now he has seen his chance, the witches predictions have pushed Macbeth to killing the king. Macbeth has a few doubts but Lady Macbeth brings him over them and pushes him to go through with it.
Macbeth's ambition was always there but now with the witches prophecies and his wife's support, he has decided to do it. Lady was more evil than Macbeth, Macbeth had doubts which made him weak, but Lady Macbeth didn't, she had no remorse. She shut out her feminine side, this is shown when Macbeth says:
"We will proceed no further in this business". And is responded to by Lady Macbeth's:
"And live a coward in thine own esteem".
Macbeth's ambition is also shown when he has his best friend Banquo killed because he is scared that Banquos sons were going to become kings for the witches predicted
"Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none".
These fears get to Macbeth so he sees that the only way to get rid of them is to kill Banquo and his son. This is a sign of Macbeth's uncontrolled ambition, he is willing to kill his best friend for his ambitions to become true. Being king isn't enough for Macbeth, he has to make sure that the throne stays in his family. This act is the start of his downfall. Killing Banquo gets to Macbeth because he starts to hallucinate, seeing Banquo's Ghost.
Lady Macbeth tries to forget what her and her husband had done.
"These deeds must not be thought after these ways; so, it will make us mad".
Lady Macbeth showed no guilt but her sub-conscious mind was guilty for what she had done. This eventually showed out through her sleepwalking, her physician and gentlewoman also found out from this. She eventually cracked and killed herself.
Macbeth didn't lose it, he managed to keep himself together and under control. But most of the people in Scotland had lost faith in him because they had found out that he had killed Duncan, and was up for treason. Most of them left Scotland and joined forces with England.
Macbeth now knew that his life was over, it was just a matter of time.
When Macbeth wet back to the witches, they told him:
"Macbeth shall never vanquished be until great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane Hill shall come against him".
They also stated that Macbeth would not be killed by a man born of a woman.
Macbeth didn't believe that the witches predictions would come true because they were not possible, so he was safe. Until the first prediction did come true. The great Birnam Wood came against him, the troops from England had covered themselves with branches so that they could not tell of the numbers coming. But still Macbeth believed that he was safe, because how would he be killed from a man not born of a woman. This was the final stage of Macbeth's downfall.
At the end of the play Macbeth came to his last battle with Macduff, who was not born of a woman, he was born by a cesarean, Macduff finally won by chopping of Macbeth's head.
All that I have stated is relevant to the downfall of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. They could not control the ambitions, what they had wasn't good enough they wanted more. This is what lead them to their downfall and their death.
Source: Essay UK - http://www.essay.uk.com/coursework/macbeth-5.php