Macbeth’s overconfidence lands him in treacherous territory.
These favorable traits, however, exist with Macbeth’s ever-apparent ambition that excites his every move. In fact, it is the single fuel that drives his inventions of murder. “Only vaulting ambition” is what inspires Macbeth to carry out the planned exploits of Duncan’s death. What is a shame is how his determination overstretches itself. Like a rider who hyper extends his leap into a saddle and falls on the opposite side of a horse, his ambitious nature far exceeds its target. When it is not overreaching, the faithful Banquo quietly scolds Macbeth’s ambition. As Mark Antony feared Caesar on a political instead of individual level so does Macbeth view Banquo. Macbeth also sees Banquo’s loyalty and silence of the witches’ prophecies as a tactic to give him no following of children, thus an “unlineal hand.” His fear of Banquo aside, his ambition moves in for plotting Banquo’s murder. Here, he is soldierly, militant in outlining the horrible deed. So ruthless is Macbeth that he desires, in the original scheme, for Fleance to “embrace the fate of that dark hour” so that Banquo’s lineage would be cut short. Though it backfires, the very thought mirrors the man’s most unappealing trait. Even with ambition, imagination must have a purpose in the construction of such excessive determination.