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Macbeth stabbing Duncan illustration (1)

Is Ambition Really That Bad?

How should we think about ambition in the modern world?

A central theme of the tragedy of Macbeth is ambition and the destruction that can occur when ambition goes unchecked. But is ambition really that bad?


Students must answer this question by comparing Macbeth with contemporary exhortations of ambition, analysing the reasons for the differences in how it is portrayed.


They must develop a contention for whether ambition is as bad as it is made out to be 


Key tasks

  • Thematic exploration. Students will explore the theme of ambition in Macbeth. They examine the portrayal of the ideal and how it is interwoven into the fabric of the text  

  • Ambition today. Students will explore how ambition is represented in today’s world and how it is built into messaging from advertising to politics as something to be championed and admired. Students will consider why we view ambition differently today than in Macbeth’s time 

Key facts:

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Curriculum information

English – Macbeth

ACELY1739 & ACELT1633 | VCELT435-445 | EN5-1A, 5-5C



15 - 20 lessons

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